means / mēnz/ • pl. n. 1. [usu. treated as sing.] (often means of something or means to do something) an action or system by which a result is brought about; a method: these pledges are a means to avoid prosecution resolving disputes by peaceful means. 2. money; financial resources: a woman of modest but independent means prospective students without the means to attend Cornell. ∎ resources; capability: every country in the world has the means to make ethanol. ∎ wealth: a man of means. PHRASES: beyond (or within) one's means beyond (or within) one's budget or income: the government is living beyond its means. by all means of course; certainly (granting a permission): “May I make a suggestion?” “By all means.” by any means (or by any manner of means) (following a negative) in any way; at all: I'm not poor by any means. by means of with the help or agency of: supplying water to cities by means of aqueducts. by no means (or by no manner of means) not at all; certainly not: the outcome is by no means guaranteed. a means to an end a thing that is not valued or important in itself but is useful in achieving an aim: a computer is merely a means to an end.