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[meen-lee] /ˈmin li/
in a poor, lowly, or humble manner.
in a base, contemptible, selfish, or shabby manner.
in a stingy or miserly manner.
Origin of meanly1
1350-1400; Middle English meneli. See mean2, -ly


[meen-lee] /ˈmin li/
adverb, Obsolete
1350-1400; Middle English; see mean3, -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for meanly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You will not deem so meanly of me as to believe that I shall regard Mr. —— with the jaundiced eye of disappointed passion.

  • I was angry at the prince for involving my affairs so meanly.

    Princess Zara Ross Beeckman
  • After the visit to Jimmy, which made Trampy so meanly jealous, she lost no opportunity of inquiring.

    The Bill-Toppers Andre Castaigne
  • I was disgusted with myself, and meanly angry with her for having rendered me so.

    The Talking Horse F. Anstey
  • There was nothing grovelling or low, or meanly selfish that came near the head or the heart of Mr. Calhoun.

    The Dixie Book of Days Matthew Page Andrews
  • Of what use, then, to be a Queen, if thereby I may not escape the evil of the meanly born?

    Cleopatra H. Rider Haggard
  • Is he to sit down tamely and meanly under disgrace and injury?

  • "Ferguson treats me meanly," he said, just after the last rise of Gilbert.

    Tom, The Bootblack Horatio Alger
  • The Celtic quarter, which was in Connaught, was old and meanly built.

Word Origin and History for meanly

1580s, "indifferently;" 1590s, "basely;" c.1600, "illiberally;" from mean (adj.1) + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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