Mean vs mien

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Mean may be used as a verb to (1) indicate, signify or refer to a certain thing (2) indicate genuine intention (3) refer to the consequence of a certain thing or action (4) show the importance or value of a certain item or happening.

Mean may be used as an adjective to indicate (1) unkindness or cruelty (2) malice (3) low social status (4) poor or shabby (5) miserly, stingy (6) skillful (slang)

Mean may be used as a noun to indicate (1) the midway point (2) in mathematics, the number that is typical of a set of numbers. A related word is means which can denote (1) the sum of assets (2) great wealth.

Mien is a homophone of mean, which indicates that they are pronounced in the same manner. Mien refers to the appearance of a person, especially indicating his mood, character or inner aspect.


“Rejection of reforms by Greece cannot mean that they will get the money easier.” (Forbes)

Canadian crooner Michael Buble says he didn’t mean to disrespect women or insult anyone with his recent Instagram post featuring a woman in short shorts. (The StarPhoenix)

For escapee, prison now will mean 23 hours a day in a cell (The Seattle Times)

Greece doesn’t mean a lot to the US economy. (Business Insider)

“I’ve had it with her, you know what, she’s a mean nasty person, and that’s probably why her husband said it to her, he said it to her on Andy’s show,” Zarin told Stanger, referencing a time when Mario publicly called his estranged spouse “mean.” (People)

Vanessa Howerton remembers what it feels like, the desperate wanting of a child in school from a family of modest means. (The Hickory Record)

He should find some means of putting in evidence the leisure that is not spent in the sight of the spectators. (Time)

But English, for all his counter-culture mien, studied photography at university and is a skilled painter. (The Australian Financial Review)

The 63-year-old with the grandmotherly mien and the white bob haircut will subsequently be escorted onto a plane to Chicago, where she will be arrested, incarcerated, and released multiple times following a predictable spate of incursions upon that city’s airports. (The San Francisco Magazine)