lean1 / lēn/ • v. (past and past part. leaned / lēnd/ or chiefly Brit. leant / lent/ ) [intr.] be in or move into a sloping position: he leaned back in his chair. ∎ (lean against/on) incline from the perpendicular and rest for support on or against (something): a man was leaning against the wall. ∎ [tr.] (lean something against/on) cause something to rest on or against: he leaned his elbows on the table. • n. a deviation from the perpendicular; an inclination: the vehicle has a definite lean to the left. PHRASAL VERBS: lean on 1. rely on or derive support from: they have learned to lean on each other for support. 2. put pressure on (someone) to act in a certain way: a determination not to allow the majority to lean on the minority. lean to/towards incline or be partial to (a view or position): I now lean toward sabotage as the cause of the crash. lean2 / lēn/ • adj. 1. (of a person or animal) thin, esp. healthily so; having no superfluous fat: his lean, muscular body. ∎ (of meat) containing little fat: lean bacon. ∎ (of an industry or company) efficient and with no waste: he made leaner government a campaign theme. 2. (of an activity or a period of time) offering little reward, substance, or nourishment; meager: the lean winter months keep a small reserve to tide you over the lean years. 3. (of a vaporized fuel mixture) having a high proportion of air: lean air-to-fuel ratios. • n. the lean part of meat. DERIVATIVES: lean·ly adv. lean·ness n.