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What is the meaning of the word mean?

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The word "mean" has several uses in English.

Arithmetic and statistics
Mean is the average of the individual elements of a sample. The word "average" usually means the mean.

The next definition comes from probability theory. The mean of a random variable is the same as the expected value. (See related link) The mean is a parameter that is frequently necessary to define a distribution. The Greek symbol, mu, can be used for this value. When discussing theoretical distributions and their properties, such as expectation, the term "mean" should always be used.

A word "means" what it is defined as (its meaning).

Relationships (adjective)
"Being mean" is a colloquial term for being cruel or nasty, or mistreating someone.
Mean (meaner, meanest) as an adjective:
  • Middle or intermediate position between two extremes;
  • Unwilling to give or share things;
  • Unkind, spiteful, or unfair;
  • Vicious or aggressive in behavior;
  • Shabby, poor in quality and appearance;
  • Of low birth or social class;
  • Excellent, very skillful or effective. Example: Bobby Flay barbecues a mean chicken.

Mean (means, meaning, meant) as a verb:
  • Intending to convey, indicate, or refer to;
  • Signifying the same or equivalent word or words in another language;
  • Express some importance as a source of benefit or object of affection;
  • Intend to occur or be the case;
  • Design or designate for a particular purpose;
  • Have as a motive, excuse, or explanation;
  • Have as a consequence or result;
  • Genuinely intend to convey or express. Example: I really do mean to do it.

Mean (means) as a noun:
  • The sum of several quantities and their number, an average;
  • A condition, quality, or course of action equally removed from two opposite (usually unsatisfactory) extremes;
  • A method, a course of action, or an instrument by which an act can be accomplished or an end achieved. Example: I don't have the means to take the trip this year.
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