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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
  • Voters seemed put off by his gloomy and aloof mien.
  • Offit is quick-witted, funny, and — despite a generally mild-mannered mien — sometimes so assertive as to seem brash.
  • I'm ever amazed by the undignified mien of many sales reps.
  • Roberts has a boyish mien, a handsome family and an Indiana upbringing.
  • He was a Vietnam veteran with a haunted mien.
  • Slow was her step, and awful was her mien.
  • The glance of its bright red eyes was penetrating, its mien alert, its general impression one of grace and strength.
  • Once bankers took pride in their awe-inspiring mien.
  • There is nothing of despondency in their sorrowing mien.
  • Rugged hills and a barbed-wire fence give the soft images a harsh Western mien.
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
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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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