Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Meal-mouthed adjective See Mealy-mouthed .

Mealtime noun The usual time of eating a meal.

Mealy adjective [ Compar. Mealier ; superl. Mealiest .]


1. Having the qualities of meal; resembling meal; soft, dry, and friable; easily reduced to a condition resembling meal; as, a mealy potato.

2. Overspread with something that resembles meal; as, the mealy wings of an insect. Shak.

Mealy bug (Zoology) , a scale insect ( Coccus adonidum , and related species), covered with a white powderlike substance. It is a common pest in hothouses.

Mealy-mouthed adjective Using soft words; plausible; affectedly or timidly delicate of speech; unwilling to tell the truth in plain language. " Mealy-mouthed philanthropies." Tennyson.

She was a fool to be mealy-mouthed where nature speaks so plain.
L'Estrange.

-- Meal"y-mouth`ness noun

Mean (mēn) transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Meant (mĕnt); present participle & verbal noun Meaning .] [ Middle English menen , Anglo-Saxon mǣnan to recite, tell, intend, wish; akin to Old Saxon mēnian to have in mind, mean, Dutch meenen , German meinen , Old High German meinan , Icelandic meina , Swedish mena , Danish mene , and to English mind . √104. See Mind , and confer Moan .]
1. To have in the mind, as a purpose, intention, etc.; to intend; to purpose; to design; as, what do you mean to do ?

What mean ye by this service ?
Ex. xii. 26.

Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.
Gen. 1. 20.

I am not a Spaniard
To say that it is yours and not to mean it.
Longfellow.

2. To signify; to indicate; to import; to denote.

What mean these seven ewe lambs ?
Gen. xxi. 29.

Go ye, and learn what that meaneth .
Matt. ix. 13.

Mean intransitive verb To have a purpose or intention. [ Rare, except in the phrase to mean well, or ill.] Shak.

Mean (mēn) adjective [ Compar. Meaner (mēn"ẽr); superl. Meanest .] [ Middle English mene , Anglo-Saxon mǣne wicked; akin to mān , adjective , wicked, noun , wickedness, Old Saxon mēn wickedness, Old High German mein , German meineid perjury, Icelandic mein harm, hurt, and perhaps to Anglo-Saxon gemǣne common, general, Dutch gemeen , German gemein , Goth. gamáins , and Latin communis . The Anglo-Saxon gemǣne probably influenced the meaning.]


1. Destitute of distinction or eminence; common; low; vulgar; humble. "Of mean parentage." Sir P. Sidney.

The mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself.
Is. ii. 9.

2. Wanting dignity of mind; low-minded; base; destitute of honor; spiritless; as, a mean motive.

Can you imagine I so mean could prove,
To save my life by changing of my love ?
Dryden.

3. Of little value or account; worthy of little or no regard; contemptible; despicable.

The Roman legions and great Cæsar found
Our fathers no mean foes.
J. Philips.

4. Of poor quality; as, mean fare.

5. Penurious; stingy; close-fisted; illiberal; as, mean hospitality.

» Mean is sometimes used in the formation of compounds, the sense of which is obvious without explanation; as, mean born, mean -looking, etc.

Syn. -- Base; ignoble; abject; beggarly; wretched; degraded; degenerate; vulgar; vile; servile; menial; spiritless; groveling; slavish; dishonorable; disgraceful; shameful; despicable; contemptible; paltry; sordid. See Base .

Mean adjective [ Middle English mene , Old French meiien , French moyen , from Latin medianus that is in the middle, from medius ; akin to English mid . See Mid .]
1. Occupying a middle position; middle; being about midway between extremes.

Being of middle age and a mean stature.
Sir. P. Sidney.

2. Intermediate in excellence of any kind.

According to the fittest style of lofty, mean , or lowly.
Milton.

3. (Math.) Average; having an intermediate value between two extremes, or between the several successive values of a variable quantity during one cycle of variation; as, mean distance; mean motion; mean solar day.

Mean distance (of a planet from the sun) (Astron.) , the average of the distances throughout one revolution of the planet, equivalent to the semi-major axis of the orbit. -- Mean error (Math. Physics ) , the average error of a number of observations found by taking the mean value of the positive and negative errors without regard to sign. -- Mean-square error , or Error of the mean square (Math. Physics ) , the error the square of which is the mean of the squares of all the errors; -- called also, especially by European writers, mean error . -- Mean line . (Crystallog.) Same as Bisectrix . -- Mean noon , noon as determined by mean time. -- Mean proportional (between two numbers) (Math.) , the square root of their product. -- Mean sun , a fictitious sun supposed to move uniformly in the equator so as to be on the meridian each day at mean noon. -- Mean time , time as measured by an equable motion, as of a perfect clock, or as reckoned on the supposition that all the days of the year are of a mean or uniform length, in contradistinction from apparent time, or that actually indicated by the sun, and from sidereal time, or that measured by the stars.

Mean noun
1. That which is mean, or intermediate, between two extremes of place, time, or number; the middle point or place; middle rate or degree; mediocrity; medium; absence of extremes or excess; moderation; measure.

But to speak in a mean , the virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude.
Bacon.

There is a mean in all things.
Dryden.

The extremes we have mentioned, between which the wellinstracted Christian holds the mean , are correlatives.
I. Taylor.

2. (Math.) A quantity having an intermediate value between several others, from which it is derived, and of which it expresses the resultant value; usually, unless otherwise specified, it is the simple average, formed by adding the quantities together and dividing by their number, which is called an arithmetical mean . A geometrical mean is the square root of the product of the quantities.

3. That through which, or by the help of which, an end is attained; something tending to an object desired; intermediate agency or measure; necessary condition or coagent; instrument.

Their virtuous conversation was a mean to work the conversion of the heathen to Christ.
Hooker.

You may be able, by this mean , to review your own scientific acquirements.
Coleridge.

Philosophical doubt is not an end, but a mean .
Sir W. Hamilton.

» In this sense the word is usually employed in the plural form means , and often with a singular attribute or predicate, as if a singular noun.

By this means he had them more at vantage.
Bacon.

What other means is left unto us.
Shak.

4. plural Hence: Resources; property, revenue, or the like, considered as the condition of easy livelihood, or an instrumentality at command for effecting any purpose; disposable force or substance.

Your means are very slender, and your waste is great.
Shak.

5. (Mus.) A part, whether alto or tenor, intermediate between the soprano and base; a middle part. [ Obsolete]

The mean is drowned with your unruly base.
Shak.

6. Meantime; meanwhile. [ Obsolete] Spenser.

7. A mediator; a go-between. [ Obsolete] Piers Plowman.

He wooeth her by means and by brokage.
Chaucer.

By all means , certainly; without fail; as, go, by all means . -- By any means , in any way; possibly; at all.

If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.
Phil. iii. ll.

-- By no means , or By no manner of means , not at all; certainly not; not in any degree.

The wine on this side of the lake is by no means so good as that on the other.
Addison.

Mean-spirited adjective Of a mean spirit; base; groveling. -- Mean"-spir`it*ed*ness , noun

Meander noun [ Latin Maeander , orig., a river in Phrygia, proverbial for its many windings, Greek ...: confer French méandre .]
1. A winding, crooked, or involved course; as, the meanders of the veins and arteries. Sir M. Hale.

While lingering rivers in meanders glide.
Sir R. Blackmore.

2. A tortuous or intricate movement.

3. (Architecture) Fretwork. See Fret .

Meander transitive verb To wind, turn, or twist; to make flexuous. Dryton.

Meander intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Meandered ; present participle & verbal noun Meandering .] To wind or turn in a course or passage; to be intricate.

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran.
Coleridge.

Meandrian adjective [ Latin Maeandrius : confer French méandrien .] Winding; having many turns.

Meandrina noun [ New Latin : confer French méandrine .] (Zoology) A genus of corals with meandering grooves and ridges, including the brain corals.

Meandrous, Meandry adjective Winding; flexuous.

Meaning noun
1. That which is meant or intended; intent; purpose; aim; object; as, a mischievous meaning was apparent.

If there be any good meaning towards you.
Shak.

2. That which is signified, whether by act lanquage; signification; sense; import; as, the meaning of a hint.

3. Sense; power of thinking. [ R.]

-- Mean"ing*less , adjective -- Mean"ing*ly , adverb

Meanly adverb [ Mean middle.] Moderately. [ Obsolete]

A man meanly learned himself, but not meanly affectioned to set forward learning in others.
Ascham.

Meanly adverb [ From Mean low.] In a mean manner; unworthily; basely; poorly; ungenerously.

While the heaven-born child
All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies.
Milton.

Would you meanly thus rely
On power you know I must obey ?
Prior.

We can not bear to have others think meanly of them [ our kindred].
I. Watts.

Meanness noun
1. The condition, or quality, of being mean; want of excellence; poorness; lowness; baseness; sordidness; stinginess.

This figure is of a later date, by the meanness of the workmanship.
Addison.

2. A mean act; as, to be guilty of meanness . Goldsmith.

Meant imperfect & past participle of Mean .

Meantime, Meanwhile noun The intervening time; as, in the meantime (or mean time ).

Meantime, Meanwhile adverb In the intervening time; during the interval.

Mear noun A boundary. See Mere . [ Obsolete]

Mease noun [ Confer German mass measure.] Five hundred; as, a mease of herrings. [ Prov. Eng.]

Measelry noun [ Middle English meselrie , Old French mesellerie . See lst Measle .] Leprosy. [ Obsolete] R. of Brunne.

Measle noun [ Middle English mesel , Old French mesel , Late Latin misellus , Latin misellus unfortunate, dim. of miser . See Miser .] A leper. [ Obsolete] [ Written also meazel , and mesel .] Wyclif (Matt. x. 8. ).

Measle noun (Zoology) A tapeworm larva. See 2d Measles , 4.

Measled adjective [ See 2d Measles .] Infected or spotted with measles, as pork. -- Mea"sled*ness , noun

Measles noun [ From lst Measle .] Leprosy; also, a leper. [ Obsolete]

Measles noun ; plural in form, but used as singular in senses 1, 2, & 3. [ Dutch mazelen ; akin to German masern , plural, and English mazer , and orig. meaning, little spots. See Mazer .]


1. (Medicine) A contagious febrile disorder commencing with catarrhal symptoms, and marked by the appearance on the third day of an eruption of distinct red circular spots, which coalesce in a crescentic form, are slightly raised above the surface, and after the fourth day of the eruption gradually decline; rubeola.

Measles commences with the ordinary symptoms of fever.
Am. Cyc.

2. (Veter. Med.) A disease of cattle and swine in which the flesh is filled with the embryos of different varieties of the tapeworm.

3. A disease of trees. [ Obsolete]

4. plural (Zoology) The larvæ of any tapeworm ( Tænia ) in the cysticerus stage, when contained in meat. Called also bladder worms .

Measly adjective
1. Infected with measles.

2. (Zoology) Containing larval tapeworms; -- said of pork and beef.

Measurable adjective [ French mesurable , Latin mensurabilis . See Measure , and confer Mensurable .]


1. Capable of being measured; susceptible of mensuration or computation.

2. Moderate; temperate; not excessive.

Of his diet measurable was he.
Chaucer.

-- Meas"ur*a*ble*ness , noun -- Meas"ur*a*bly , adverb

Yet do it measurably , as it becometh Christians.
Latimer.

Measure (mĕzh"ur; 135) noun [ Middle English mesure , French mesure , Latin mensura , from metiri , mensus , to measure; akin to metrum poetical measure, Greek me`tron , English meter . Confer Immense , Mensuration , Mete to measure.]
1. A standard of dimension; a fixed unit of quantity or extent; an extent or quantity in the fractions or multiples of which anything is estimated and stated; hence, a rule by which anything is adjusted or judged.

2. An instrument by means of which size or quantity is measured, as a graduated line, rod, vessel, or the like.

False ells and measures be brought all clean adown.
R. of Gloucester.

3. The dimensions or capacity of anything, reckoned according to some standard; size or extent, determined and stated; estimated extent; as, to take one's measure for a coat.

The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
Job xi. 9.

4. The contents of a vessel by which quantity is measured; a quantity determined by a standard; a stated or limited quantity or amount.

It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal.
Luke xiii. 21.

5. Extent or degree not excessive or beyong bounds; moderation; due restraint; esp. in the phrases, in measure ; with measure ; without or beyond measure .

Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure .
Is. v. 14.

6. Determined extent, not to be exceeded; limit; allotted share, as of action, influence, ability, or the like; due proportion.

Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days.
Ps. xxxix. 4.

7. The quantity determined by measuring, especially in buying and selling; as, to give good or full measure .

8. Undefined quantity; extent; degree.

There is a great measure of discretion to be used in the performance of confession.
Jer. Taylor.

9. Regulated division of movement : (a) (Dancing) A regulated movement corresponding to the time in which the accompanying music is performed; but, especially, a slow and stately dance, like the minuet. (b) (Mus.) (1) The group or grouping of beats, caused by the regular recurrence of accented beats. (2) The space between two bars. See Beat , Triple , Quadruple , Sextuple , Compound time , under Compound , adjective , and Figure . (c) (Poetry) The manner of ordering and combining the quantities, or long and short syllables; meter; rhythm; hence, a foot; as, a poem in iambic measure .

10. (Arith.) A number which is contained in a given number a number of times without a remainder; as in the phrases, the common measure , the greatest common measure , etc., of two or more numbers.

11. A step or definite part of a progressive course or policy; a means to an end; an act designed for the accomplishment of an object; as, political measures ; prudent measures ; an inefficient measure .

His majesty found what wrong measures he had taken in the conferring that trust, and lamented his error.
Clarendon.

12. The act of measuring; measurement. Shak.

13. plural (Geol.) Beds or strata; as, coal measures ; lead measures .

Lineal , or Long , measure , measure of length; the measure of lines or distances. -- Liquid measure , the measure of liquids. -- Square measure , the measure of superficial area of surfaces in square units, as inches, feet, miles, etc. -- To have hard measure , to have harsh treatment meted out to one; to be harshly or oppressively dealt with. -- To take measures , to make preparations; to provide means. -- To take one's measure , to measure one, as for a garment; hence, to form an opinion of one's disposition, character, ability, etc. -- To tread a measure , to dance in the style so called. See 9 (a) .

Say to her, we have measured many miles
To tread a measure with her on this grass.
Shak.

Measure transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Measured ; present participle & verbal noun Measuring .] [ French mesurer , Latin mensurare . See Measure , noun ]
1. To ascertain by use of a measuring instrument; to compute or ascertain the extent, quantity, dimensions, or capacity of, by a certain rule or standard; to take the dimensions of; hence, to estimate; to judge of; to value; to appraise.

Great are thy works, Jehovah, infinite
Thy power! what thought can measure thee?
Milton.

2. To serve as the measure of; as, the thermometer measures changes of temperature.

3. To pass throught or over in journeying, as if laying off and determining the distance.

A true devoted pilgrim is not weary
To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps.
Shak.

4. To adjust by a rule or standard.

To secure a contented spirit, measure your desires by your fortunes, not your fortunes by your desires.
Jer. Taylor.

5. To allot or distribute by measure; to set off or apart by measure; -- often with out or off .

With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Matt. vii. 2.

That portion of eternity which is called time, measured out by the sun.
Addison.

To measure swords with one , to try another's skill in the use of the sword; hence, figuratively, to match one's abilities against an antagonist's.

Measure intransitive verb
1. To make a measurement or measurements.

2. To result, or turn out, on measuring; as, the grain measures well; the pieces measure unequally.

3. To be of a certain size or quantity, or to have a certain length, breadth, or thickness, or a certain capacity according to a standard measure; as, cloth measures three fourths of a yard; a tree measures three feet in diameter.

Measured adjective Regulated or determined by a standard; hence, equal; uniform; graduated; limited; moderated; as, he walked with measured steps; he expressed himself in no measured terms. -- Meas"ured*ly , adverb

Measureless adjective Without measure; unlimited; immeasurable. -- Meas"ure*less*ness , noun

Syn. -- Boundless; limitless; endless; unbounded; unlimited; vast; immense; infinite; immeasurable.

Measurement noun
1. The act or result of measuring; mensuration; as, measurement is required.

2. The extent, size, capacity, amount. or quantity ascertained by measuring; as, its measurement is five acres.

Measurer noun One who measures; one whose occupation or duty is to measure commondities in market.

Measuring adjective Used in, or adapted for, ascertaining measurements, or dividing by measure.

Measuring faucet , a faucet which permits only a given quantity of liquid to pass each time it is opened, or one by means of which the liquid which passes can be measured. - - Measuring worm (Zoology) , the larva of any geometrid moth. See Geometrid .

Meat noun [ Middle English mete , Anglo-Saxon mete ; akin to Old Saxon mat , meti , Dutch met hashed meat, German mett wurst sausage, Old High German maz food, Icelandic matr , Swedish mat , Danish mad , Goth. mats . Confer Mast fruit, Mush .]
1. Food, in general; anything eaten for nourishment, either by man or beast. Hence, the edible part of anything; as, the meat of a lobster, a nut, or an egg. Chaucer.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, . . . to you it shall be for meat .
Gen. i. 29.

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you.
Gen. ix. 3.

2. The flesh of animals used as food; esp., animal muscle; as, a breakfast of bread and fruit without meat .

3. Specifically, dinner; the chief meal. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Meat biscuit . See under Biscuit . -- Meat earth (Mining) , vegetable mold. Raymond. -- Meat fly . (Zoology) See Flesh fly , under Flesh . -- Meat offering (Script.) , an offering of food, esp. of a cake made of flour with salt and oil. -- To go to meat , to go to a meal. [ Obsolete] -- To sit at meat , to sit at the table in taking food.

Meat transitive verb To supply with food. [ Obsolete] Tusser.

His shield well lined, his horses meated well.
Chapman.

Meatal adjective Of or pertaining to a meatus; resembling a meatus. Owen.

Meated adjective
1. Fed; fattened. [ Obsolete] Tusser.

2. Having (such) meat; -- used chiefly in composition; as, thick- meated .

Meath, Meathe noun [ See Mead .] A sweet liquor; mead. [ Obsolete] Chaucer. Milton.

Meatiness noun Quality of being meaty.

Meatless adjective Having no meat; without food.

"Leave these beggars meatless ."
Sir T. More.

Meatoscope noun [ Meatus + -scope .] (Medicine) A speculum for examining a natural passage, as the urethra.

Meatotome noun [ Meatus + Greek ... to cut.] (Surg.) An instrument for cutting into the urethra so as to enlarge its orifice.