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mean streets


the poorer and rougher section of a city or town

Word Origin

from a Martin Scorsese film of this name's 21st Century Lexicon
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Examples from the Web for mean streets
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Historical Examples
  • Not modern impressionist stuff; not mean streets and the photographic touch.

    Far to Seek Maud Diver
  • Then he walked up Shaftesbury Avenue, finally turning off into the maze of mean streets round Soho.

    The Secret Adversary Agatha Christie
  • From the standpoint of simple decency and clean manhood and womanhood, any mean street, of all its mean streets, is a slum.

  • The mean streets merely look mean from the outside, but inside the walls are to be found squalor, misery, and tragedy.

  • The mean streets and dreary squalid houses took on a greater significance for him than they had ever done.

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