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[meen] /min/
air, bearing, or demeanor, as showing character, feeling, etc.:
a man of noble mien.
Origin of mien
1505-15; probably aphetic variant of obsolete demean bearing, demean2; spelled with -ie- to distinguish it from mean2
Can be confused
mean, mien.
appearance, look; carriage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mien
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was one in the pavilion, of a mien and assurance the past night, that might delude an angel.

  • He desisted at last and looked back at us with a mien of anger.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • In garb and mien he was a fine type of the American gentleman who is marked by a touch of the old school.

    The Landloper Holman Day
  • He was a good stout knight, but sorrowful of face and downcast of mien.

  • She was one of the house; this had nothing overpowering for her, if it did give some of the pride to her mien.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • Like the spectators at the time, we cannot pity Socrates; his mien and his language are so noble and fearless.

    Phaedo Plato
  • The Frisco kid merely presented the mien of a stoic to the appeal of Benson, and in silence dragged away at one of his arms.

  • Otrepiev was shaken by the Tsar's manner, by the ferocity of his mien.

  • His voice, his look, his mien, betrayed that an ever-living woe encompassed him with gloom.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
British Dictionary definitions for mien


(literary) a person's manner, bearing, or appearance, expressing personality or mood: a noble mien
Word Origin
C16: probably variant of obsolete demean appearance; related to French mine aspect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for mien

appearance, bearing; manner

Word Origin

shortening and alteration of demean's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for mien

"facial expression," 1510s, probably a shortening of Middle English demean "bearing, demeanor" (see demeanor) and influenced by Middle French mine "appearance, facial expression," which is of unknown origin, possibly Celtic (cf. Breton min "beak, muzzle, nose," Irish men "mouth").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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