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1 [leen]
verb (used without object), leaned or (especially British) leant; leaning.
to incline or bend from a vertical position: She leaned out the window.
to incline, as in a particular direction; slant: The post leans to the left. The building leaned sharply before renovation.
to incline in feeling, opinion, action, etc.: to lean toward socialism.
to rest against or on something for support: to lean against a wall.
to depend or rely (usually followed by on or upon ): someone he could lean on in an emergency.
verb (used with object), leaned or (especially British) leant; leaning.
to incline or bend: He leaned his head forward.
to cause to lean or rest; prop: to lean a chair against the railing.
the act or state of leaning; inclination: The tower has a pronounced lean.
Verb phrases
lean in,
to shift one's body weight forward or toward someone or something: He stood near home plate and leaned in for the pitch.
to embrace risk, be assertive, etc., as to achieve the greatest level of success in the workplace: She really knows how to lean in—she'll have a corner office before long.
lean on, Informal.
to exert influence or pressure on in order to gain cooperation, maintain discipline, or the like: The state is leaning on the company to clean up its industrial wastes.
to criticize, reprimand, or punish: I would have enjoyed school more if the teachers hadn't leaned on me so much.
lean over backward(s). bend1 ( def 21 ).

before 900; Middle English lenen, Old English hleonian, hlinian; cognate with G. lehnen; akin to Latin clīnāre to incline, Greek klī́nein

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lean1 (liːn)
vb (foll by against, on, or upon) , leans, leaning, leaned, leant
1.  to rest or cause to rest against a support
2.  to incline or cause to incline from a vertical position
3.  (intr; foll by to or towards) to have or express a tendency or leaning
4.  informal lean over backwards to make a special effort, esp in order to please
5.  the condition of inclining from a vertical position
[Old English hleonian, hlinian; related to Old High German hlinēn, Latin clīnāre to incline]

lean2 (liːn)
1.  (esp of a person or an animal) having no surplus flesh or bulk; not fat or plump
2.  not bulky or full
3.  (of meat) having little or no fat
4.  not rich, abundant, or satisfying
5.  (of a mixture of fuel and air) containing insufficient fuel and too much air: a lean mixture
6.  (of printer's type) having a thin appearance
7.  (of a paint) containing relatively little oil
8.  (of an ore) not having a high mineral content
9.  (of concrete) made with a small amount of cement
10.  the part of meat that contains little or no fat
[Old English hlǣne, of Germanic origin]

Lean (liːn)
Sir David. 1908--91, English film director. His films include In Which We Serve (1942), Blithe Spirit (1945), Brief Encounter (1946), Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Dr Zhivago (1965), and A Passage to India (1984)

leant (lɛnt)
a past tense and past participle of lean

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

O.E. hleonian "to bend, recline, lie down, rest," from P.Gmc. *khlinen (cf. O.S. hlinon, O.Fris. lena, M.Du. lenen, Ger. lehnen "to lean"), from PIE base *kli- "to lean, to incline" (cf. Skt. srayati "leans," sritah "leaning;" O.Pers. cay "to lean;" Lith. slyti "to slope," slieti "to lean;" L. clinare
"to lean, bend," clivus "declivity," inclinare "cause to bend," declinare "bend down, turn aside;" Gk. klinein "to cause to slope, slant, incline;" O.Ir. cloin "crooked, wrong;" M.Ir. cle, Welsh cledd "left," lit. "slanting;" Welsh go-gledd "north," lit. "left" -- for similar sense evolution, see Yemen, Benjamin, southpaw). Meaning "to incline the body against something for support" is mid-13c. Figurative sense of "to trust for support" is from early 13c. Sense of "to lean toward mentally, to favor" is from late 14c. Colloquial to lean on "put pressure on" (someone) is first recorded 1960.

"thin, spare, with little flesh or fat," O.E. hlæne, possibly from hlænan "cause to lean or bend," from P.Gmc. *khlainijan, which would make it related to O.E. hleonian (see lean (v.)). But perhaps rather from a PIE *qloinio- (cf. Lith. klynas "scrap, fragment," Lettish kleins "feeble").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Robin turned and leant on the bar and scanned the room with a pretence of indifference.
The judge gave vent to a faint murmur of disapprobation, and the prisoner in the dock leant forward angrily.
Charges are pending not only against the driver but also against the sixteen-year-old friend who leant him the vehicle.
Every band gave the song new life and it leant itself to jam sessions and collaborations of all varieties.
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