by all means

mean

3 [meen]
noun
1.
Usually, means. (used with a singular or plural verb) an agency, instrument, or method used to attain an end: The telephone is a means of communication. There are several means of solving the problem.
2.
means.
a.
available resources, especially money: They lived beyond their means.
b.
considerable financial resources; riches: a man of means.
3.
something that is midway between two extremes; something intermediate: to seek a mean between cynicism and blind faith.
4.
Mathematics.
a.
a quantity having a value intermediate between the values of other quantities; an average, especially the arithmetic mean.
b.
either the second or third term in a proportion of four terms.
5.
Statistics. expected value. See mathematical expectation ( def 2 ).
6.
Logic. the middle term in a syllogism.
adjective
7.
occupying a middle position or an intermediate place, as in kind, quality, degree, or time: a mean speed; a mean course; the mean annual rainfall.
Idioms
8.
by all means,
a.
(in emphasis) certainly: Go, by all means.
b.
at any cost; without fail.
9.
by any means, in any way; at all: We were not surprised at the news by any means.
10.
by means of, with the help of; by the agency of; through: We crossed the stream by means of a log.
11.
by no means, in no way; not at all: The prize is by no means certain.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English mene < Middle French meen, variant of meien < Latin mediānus; see median

mean, median.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mean1 (miːn)
 
vb (often foll by for) , means, meaning, meant
1.  (may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to intend to convey or express
2.  (may take a clause as object or an infinitive) intend: she didn't mean to hurt it
3.  (may take a clause as object) to say or do in all seriousness: the boss means what he says about strikes
4.  to destine or design (for a certain person or purpose): she was meant for greater things
5.  (may take a clause as object) to denote or connote; signify; represent: examples help show exactly what a word means
6.  (may take a clause as object) to produce; cause: the weather will mean long traffic delays
7.  (may take a clause as object) to foretell; portend: those dark clouds mean rain
8.  to have the importance of: money means nothing to him
9.  (intr) to have the intention of behaving or acting (esp in the phrases mean wellormean ill)
10.  mean business to be in earnest
 
usage  In standard English, mean should not be followed by for when expressing intention: I didn't mean this to happen (not I didn't mean for this to happen)

mean2 (miːn)
 
adj
1.  chiefly (Brit) miserly, ungenerous, or petty
2.  humble, obscure, or lowly: he rose from mean origins to high office
3.  despicable, ignoble, or callous: a mean action
4.  poor or shabby: mean clothing; a mean abode
5.  informal chiefly (US), (Canadian) bad-tempered; vicious
6.  informal ashamed: he felt mean about not letting the children go to the zoo
7.  informal chiefly (US) unwell; in low spirits
8.  slang excellent; skilful: he plays a mean trombone
9.  no mean
 a.  of high quality: no mean performer
 b.  difficult: no mean feat
 
[C12: from Old English gemǣne common; related to Old High German gimeini, Latin communis common, at first with no pejorative sense]
 
'meanly2
 
adv
 
'meanness2
 
n

mean3 (miːn)
 
n
1.  the middle point, state, or course between limits or extremes
2.  moderation
3.  maths
 a.  the second and third terms of a proportion, as b and c in a/b = c/d
 b.  another name for average See also geometric mean
4.  statistics a statistic obtained by multiplying each possible value of a variable by its probability and then taking the sum or integral over the range of the variable
 
adj
5.  intermediate or medium in size, quantity, etc
6.  occurring halfway between extremes or limits; average
 
[C14: via Anglo-Norman from Old French moien, from Late Latin mediānusmedian]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mean
O.E. mænan "to mean, tell, say, complain," from W.Gmc. *mainijanan (cf. O.Fris. mena, Du. menen, Ger. meinen to think, suppose, be of the opinion"), from PIE *meino- "opinion, intent" (cf. O.C.S. meniti "to think, have an opinion," O.Ir. mian "wish, desire," Welsh mwyn "enjoyment"), probably from
base *men- "think."

mean
"low-quality," O.E. gemæne "common, public, general, universal, shared by all," from P.Gmc. *ga-mainiz "possessed jointly" (cf. O.Fris. mene, M.L.G. gemeine, Du. gemeen, Ger. gemein, Goth. gamains "common"), from PIE *ko-moin-i- "held in common," a compound adjective formed from collective prefix
*ko- "together" (P.Gmc. *ga-) + *moi-n-, suffixed form of PIE base *mei- "to change, exchange" (see mutable); cf. second element in common, a word whose sense evolution parallels that of mean (adj.). Sense influenced by mean (n.). Meaning "inferior, poor" emerged c.1300; that of "stingy, nasty" first recorded 1660s; weaker sense of "disobliging, pettily offensive" is from 1839, originally Amer.Eng. slang. Inverted sense of "remarkably good" (i.e. plays a mean saxophone) first recorded c.1900, also in phrase no mean _______ "not inferior" (1590s, also, "not average," reflecting further confusion with mean (n.)).

mean
"that which is halfway between extremes," early 14c., from O.Fr. meien, from L. medianus "of or that is in the middle" (see median). Oldest sense is musical. Sense of "so-so, mediocre" led to confusion with mean (adj.). This is the mean in meantime, meanwhile, and by no means (late 15c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mean (mēn)
n.

  1. Something having a position, quality, or condition midway between extremes; a medium.

  2. A number that typifies a set of numbers, such as a geometric mean or an arithmetic mean.

  3. The average value of a set of numbers.

adj.
  1. Occupying a middle or intermediate position between two extremes.

  2. Intermediate in size, extent, quality, time, or degree; medium.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
mean   (mēn)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A number or quantity having a value that is intermediate between other numbers or quantities, especially an arithmetic mean or average. See more at arithmetic mean.

  2. Either the second or third term of a proportion of four terms. In the proportion 2/3 = 4/6 , the means are 3 and 4. Compare extreme.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

mean definition


An average in statistics. (See under “Physical Sciences and Mathematics.”)

mean definition


In statistics, an average of a group of numbers or data points. With a group of numbers, the mean is obtained by adding them and dividing by the number of numbers in the group. Thus the mean of five, seven, and twelve is eight (twenty-four divided by three). (Compare median and mode.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang Dictionary

mean definition


  1. mod.
    having to do with someone or something that is very good; cool. : This music is mean, man, mean. What a great sound!
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

by all means

  1. Also, by all manner of means. In every possible way, as in I plan to make use of him by all means. [Late 1400s]

  2. Also, by all manner of means. Without fail, at any cost, as in Losing the contract is to be avoided by all means. [c. 1600]

  3. Certainly, yes, as in Are you coming tonight?By all means, I'll be there. [Late 1600s] Also see by any means; by no means.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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