1400–50; late Middle English glenynge. See glean, -ing1 Unabridged


verb (used with object)
to gather slowly and laboriously, bit by bit.
to gather (grain or the like) after the reapers or regular gatherers.
to learn, discover, or find out, usually little by little or slowly.
verb (used without object)
to collect or gather anything little by little or slowly.
to gather what is left by reapers.

1350–1400; Middle English glenen < Old French glener < Late Latin glennāreCeltic

gleanable, adjective
gleaner, noun
ungleaned, adjective

3. garner, deduce, infer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
glean (ɡliːn)
1.  to gather (something) slowly and carefully in small pieces: to glean information from the newspapers
2.  to gather (the useful remnants of a crop) from the field after harvesting
[C14: from Old French glener, from Late Latin glennāre, probably of Celtic origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., from O.Fr. glener, from L.L. glennare "make a collection," from Gaulish (cf. O.Ir. do-glinn "he collects, gathers," Celt. glan "clean, pure"). Figurative sense was earlier in English than the literal one of "gather grain left by the reapers" (late 14c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Glean definition

The corners of fields were not to be reaped, and the sheaf accidentally left behind was not to be fetched away, according to the law of Moses (Lev. 19:9; 23:22; Deut. 24:21). They were to be left for the poor to glean. Similar laws were given regarding vineyards and oliveyards. (Comp. Ruth 2:2.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Scientists have been able to use radar to track the behavior of natural noctilucent clouds, gleaning their speeds and densities.
For answers, we've compared the two couples in hopes of gleaning information about their strangely parallel trajectories.
Gleaning is the secondary harvesting of food that would otherwise remain unused.
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