mean

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mean1 / mēn/ • v. (past and past part. meant / ment/ ) [tr.] 1. intend to convey, indicate, or refer to (a particular thing or notion); signify: I don't know what you mean he was asked to clarify what his remarks meant I meant you, not Jones. ∎  (of a word) have (something) as its signification in the same language or its equivalent in another language: its name means “painted rock” in Cherokee. ∎  genuinely intend to convey or express (something): when she said that before, she meant it. ∎  (mean something to) be of some specified importance to (someone), esp. as a source of benefit or object of affection: animals have always meant more to him than people. 2. intend (something) to occur or be the case: they mean no harm | it was meant to be a secret. ∎  (be meant to do something) be supposed or intended to do something: we were meant to go over yesterday. ∎  (often be meant for) design or destine for a particular purpose: the jacket was meant for a much larger person. ∎  (mean something by) have as a motive or excuse in explanation: what do you mean by leaving me out here in the cold? 3. have as a consequence or result: the proposals are likely to mean another hundred closures | heavy rain meant that the ground was waterlogged. ∎  necessarily or usually entail or involve: coal stoves mean a lot of smoke. PHRASES: I mean used to clarify or correct a statement or to introduce a justification or explanation: I mean, it's not as if I owned property. mean business be in earnest. mean to say [usu. in questions] really admit or intend to say: do you mean to say you've uncovered something new? mean well have good intentions, but not always the ability to carry them out. ORIGIN: Old English mænan; related to Dutch meenen and German meinen, from an Indo-European root shared by mind. mean2 • adj. 1. unwilling to give or share things, esp. money; not generous: she felt mean not giving a tip they're not mean with the garlic. 2. unkind, spiteful, or unfair: it was very mean of me she is always mean to my little brother. ∎  vicious or aggressive in behavior: the dogs were considered mean. 3. (esp. of a place) poor in quality and appearance; shabby: her home was mean and small. ∎  (of a person's mental capacity or understanding) inferior; poor: it was obvious to even the meanest intelligence. ∎ dated of low birth or social class: it was a hat like that worn by the meanest of people. 4. inf. excellent; very skillful or effective: he's a mean cook she dances a mean Charleston. PHRASES: no mean —— denoting something very good of its kind: it was no mean feat.DERIVATIVES: mean·ly adv. mean·ness n. mean3 • n. 1. the quotient of the sum of several quantities and their number; an average: acid output was calculated by taking the mean of all three samples.See also arithmetic mean, geometric mean. ∎  the term or one of the terms midway between the first and last terms of a progression. 2. a condition, quality, or course of action equally removed from two opposite (usually unsatisfactory) extremes: the mean between two extremes. • adj. 1. (of a quantity) calculated as a mean; average: by 1989, the mean age at marriage stood at 24.8 for women and 26.9 for men. 2. equally far from two extremes: hope is the mean virtue between despair and presumption.

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mean2 (dial.) common to two or more XII; inferior XIII; undignified, low XIV; ignoble XVII. OE. mǣne (rare), ME. mene, for OE. ġemǣne (ME. -mene) = OS. gimēni (Du. gemeen), OHG. gimeini (G. gemein), Goth. gamains :- Gmc. *ʒamainiz, f. *ʒa- Y- + *mainiz :- IE. *moinis (repr. in *commoinis, antecedent form of L. commūnis COMMON), f. *moi- *mei- change, exchange; see MUTATION, MUTUAL, MUNICIPAL. The development of meaning from ‘possessed by all’ to ‘ordinary’, ‘inferior’, was assisted by the coincidence of the native Eng. form with MEAN3.

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Mean

The sum of the values of the points in a data set divided by the number of points.

EXAMPLE

HEIGHTS IN CENTIMETERS OF FIFTEEN CHILDREN ARE:

124, 137, 144, 136, 157, 129, 130, 131, 125, 128, 133, 133, 129

Sum equals 1995; divide by 15 to get the mean of 133.

In statistics, the mean refers to the value that results when all the scores in a data set are added together and the total is divided by the number of scores in the data set. In the example, the mean for a set of fifteen data points is calculated. The mean balances the scores on either side of it. Also called the arithmetic mean or average, the mean is one of the measures of central tendency; the others being the median and the mode .

Further Reading

Peavy, J. Virgil. Descriptive Statistics: Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services/Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, 1981.

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Mean

The mean of a set of numbers, x1, x2, xn is defined as (x1+ x2 ... + xn) ÷ n. Thus the mean of 2, 3, 7, and 5 is (2 + 3 + 7 + 5) ÷ 4 = 17 ÷ 4.

The mean is also known as the average. It is one of the measures of central tendency, the others being the mode and median.

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mean3 † middle; † intermediary; intermediate in time (now only in mean time, mean while); intermediate in kind or degree; mediocre, middling. XIV. — AN. me(e)n, OF. meien, moien (mod. moyen):- L. mediānus MEDIAN.
Hence meantime adv. XVI; meanwhile adv. XV; reduction of adv. phr. in the m. time and m. while (XIV).

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mean, in statistics, a type of average. The arithmetic mean of a group of numbers is found by dividing their sum by the number of members in the group; e.g., the sum of the seven numbers 4, 5, 6, 9, 13, 14, and 19 is 70 so their mean is 70 divided by 7, or 10. Less often used is the geometric mean (for two quantities, the square root of their product; for n quantities, the nth root of their product).

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mean1 have in mind, intend; import. OE. mǣnan = OS. mēnian intend, make known (Du. menen), (O)HG. meinen (now chiefly, have an opinion):- WGmc. *mainjan, rel. to OSl. mǐniti; f. IE. *men- (see MIND).
Hence meaning intention, signification. XIV.

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mean (arithmetic mean) (meen) n. the average of a group of observations calculated by adding their values and dividing by the number in the group. See also median, mode.

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mean In statistics, the average as calculated by the sum of each data point divided by the total number of data points. See also VARIANCE.