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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
lean
I.verb
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
lean back in your chair
▪ He leant back in his chair and took out his pipe.
lean (=with little fat)
▪ Try to eat more lean meat, fish and chicken.
leaned forward
▪ He leaned forward, his elbows resting on the table.
slim/lean/meagre pickings
▪ Companies are put off investing in poor areas because of the meagre pickings to be had.
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
back
▪ Holmes is alone, leaning back in his chair, reading a manuscript piled on his desk.
▪ And he leans back against his chair and waits.
▪ If you find that your landings are rather flat, lean back more as you come down.
▪ I lean back into my own corner of the porch swing and hold on to myself.
▪ Beneath a canvas awning strung between two trees, several guys leaning back on their elbows were passing a small jug.
▪ He was leaning back in his chair smoking a long, fat cigarette in a stubby black holder.
▪ B closes her eyes and leans back.
backwards
▪ Then she leant backwards so that her back was arched across my chest.
▪ In figure A the pelvis is pushed forward so that the man is leaning backwards.
▪ Are you leaning backwards or forwards?
closer
▪ At half-past five he leant closer to the window and strained to see into the flat opposite.
▪ Smooth her hair? Lean closer?
▪ Rodomonte leant closer and dropped the rock in shock.
down
▪ He finished, oblivious to the bustle of the street, before leaning down and taking the child's tiny hand.
▪ Bill might lean down and poke the crumbling framework.
▪ He was leaning down, his spear arm back, the gleaming bronze blade wavering as it came towards her.
▪ Nicholas leant down and ruffled his cold hair.
▪ He leant down, put his arms on her shoulders and lifted her up.
▪ She leans down to me real close and I can smell it - the gin.
▪ The man leant down so that his face was close to the window.
▪ As Peter leant down to pick up the knife the door swung closed and Jack kicked it again.
forward
▪ A shiver passed through his whole body and then he leant forward and wept, head between his knees.
▪ I tensed on the controls, involuntarily leaning forward, ready to take off.
▪ Then, leaning forward, she picked an olive out of the glass dish in front of them and held it between thumb and forefinger.
▪ I gave her the same little squeeze, easing my foot across the toe of her right shoe and leaning forward slightly.
▪ She was still sitting down, leaning forward in her chair, burning at him with her round eyes.
▪ Dexter leant forward across the table to hear better what was about to be said.
▪ Strapped in, Leese released the inertial reel lock so that he could lean forward to do the cockpit check.
forwards
▪ Not leaning forwards as you rise. 4.
▪ Stretch arms up high, then slowly lean forwards as far as you can without straining.
▪ Remember not to lean forwards as you do the exercise.
▪ Do not lean forwards as you block since this will bring your chin close to the opponent's other fist.
▪ I'd imagined her leaning forwards and smiling, but not looking like this, somehow.
▪ Her way of leaning forwards, eyes sparkling, fingers almost touching the priest's black sleeve, made Thérèse squirm.
▪ You then sweep hard into the pad and try to spin your partner without leaning forwards or over-committing yourself.
▪ Slowly lean forwards as far as possible without straining.
heavily
▪ He seemed to fall asleep, leaning heavily on to Cameron.
▪ In movies like this, there is a great temptation to lean heavily on the melodrama.
▪ Fran leant heavily on the rail, feeling cold tentacles of shock closing around her heart.
▪ The economy of the Soviet Union leans heavily toward a centrally planned economy.
on
▪ Alan Strachan is a rock to lean on.
▪ Both are marginally functional, and desperate for some one to lean on.
▪ Find a stick or something I can lean on.
▪ Right in itself has no author-ity; it leans on might as the creeper on the tree.
▪ Religion is something solid for people to lean on.
▪ Credit position coach Larry Kirksey for developing a young group of wide receivers without Rice to lean on.
▪ There was nothing like a horse for leaning on, complaining to, arguing with.
▪ Tactful, encouraging, a tower of strength to lean on.
over
▪ Elinor leaning over the crazy gate and Otley with his field glasses.
▪ Some one vomited lazily in a wastebasket, leaning over with his hands on his knees.
▪ Some one was standing on the parapet, leaning over and looking down.
▪ He had to lean over to hear me.
▪ She leant over to him as he fastened it around her throat.
▪ It seemed like Penny was talking to Mike a lot, whispering to him, leaning over.
▪ That silhouette leaning over the railing of the darkened veranda just beyond her window was definitely his.
▪ Pamela leans over and kisses him.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
bend/lean over backwards (to do sth)
▪ Outside the trees are bending over backwards to please the wind: the shining sword grass flattens on its belly.
▪ Stuart was leaning over backwards to see Oliver's point of view.
▪ The authors, however, bend over backwards to avoid consideration of that particular class scenario.
▪ The Gallery is also bending over backwards to boost attendance, and in doing so is rather alarmingly bowing to populist pressures.
▪ They also needed to stop rationalizing the problem to themselves and bending over backwards to be fair.
▪ You should bend over backwards to avoid bitter personal rows and the holding of grudges.
sit/lie/lean back
▪ Craig sighed and leaned back in his chair.
▪ But no one can sit back in investment clubs and just listen.
▪ He must generate all his own internal discipline against the possible inclination to lie back and enjoy his good fortune.
▪ He sat back on his heels, sorrowfully examining the ruined glove.
▪ He walked without hesitation to the very front row, sat down and lay back, gazing up at the screen.
▪ She heard him returning just as she sat back to admire her handiwork.
▪ Then she lay back on her pillow and they looked at each other as if it was for the first time.
▪ We started to sit back because we were up on the No. 1 team in the nation.
▪ Whatever some think, we don't sit back.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ All of the trees were leaning in the wind.
▪ I leaned back on the pillows and closed my eyes.
▪ It's sometimes considered bad manners to lean your elbows on the table when you're eating.
▪ Joe leaned on the gate and watched as they drove away.
▪ Joe was leaning against the school wall, smoking a cigarette.
▪ She leaned on the railings and looked out at the sea.
▪ She leaned the ladder against the house and climbed up to the window.
▪ Soldiers leaned their M-16 rifles up against their tables as they ate.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ And she leans so far forward to his match that even clear across the room I could see down her blouse.
▪ David was driving and Shaun was leaning over.
▪ First the old man dead on the beach, leaning against the railing.
▪ He leant forward on the table, emphasising the points with a thin finger.
▪ He opened the gate, walked up the drive, and stopped, staring at the bicycle leaning against the wall.
▪ He was leaning down, his spear arm back, the gleaming bronze blade wavering as it came towards her.
▪ I leant across to her and asked whether I should pay the Rao directly and if so how much.
▪ Petey, leaning against a post, looked pissed off.
II.adjective
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ NOUN
face
▪ There was an unhealthy flush across his lean face and a wild look in his eyes.
▪ The older woman had a lean face, a long neck, and an aquiline nose.
▪ The placard was swaying in the air, his lean face was twisted in excitement.
▪ The lean face had grown gaunt, the cheeks hollowed, the scar about his mouth carved more deeply into his skin.
meat
▪ He prescribed a diet, which included these tiny gourmet tins of prime lean meat in savoury jelly.
▪ Perhaps it should be noted that many persons will think that three ounces of cooked lean meat make a stingy portion.
▪ Eat lean meat and try fish, chicken or rabbit instead of red meat.
▪ She uses a thick, crunchy cornmeal coating to protect the lean meat.
▪ Main courses might include fish, poultry, lean meat and vegetarian dishes, but you should avoid sauces.
▪ Stillman was a strict carnivore, allowing his patients to eat only lean meat, poultry, eggs, and low-fat cheeses.
▪ Quality refers to the characteristics associated with tenderness, juiciness, and flavor of lean meat.
▪ The average, or standardized, serving is three ounces of cooked lean meat.
spell
▪ The end of a lean spell for Wilkinson has put Boro back on course for the all-important second spot.
▪ That meant Christmas profits, which usually see the railway through the lean spell to April, were not available.
times
▪ Yet whether lean times or creative instinct drive customers to second-hand shops, they remain a valuable option.
▪ Too often in lean times the poorest are asked to make the largest sacrifices.
▪ These are lean times for the poor small farmers who work marginal lands in the coastal districts.
years
▪ The gamble seemed worthwhile as the lean years were few.
▪ She was, after all the lean years, fairly bursting with plans.
▪ Nothing came along immediately and ahead were a couple of lean years.
▪ Although two lean years by his standard followed, Davis, 34, still reached two world semi-finals.
▪ There the religious instruction started by his father, who for all the lean years had been his schoolteacher, continued.
▪ The Richmond Meet is clearly thriving - but how did it manage to survive the lean years?
▪ Those were lean years, without money for trips to the cinema.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ a lean and athletic man
▪ a lean year for business
▪ At seventy-two my grandfather was lean and strong and I expected him to live forever.
▪ He's a very handsome man: tall, lean and tanned with thick blond hair.
▪ She had a runner's lean physique and an overall healthy glow.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ A company with severe cash flow problems may have no choice but to run a lean inventory operation.
▪ For what seemed an age, she studied his features, strong lean features which she had come to know so well.
▪ He was tragic looking, lean.
▪ In this age of lean corporations, more workers are expected to work overtime.
▪ It is lean production at its meanest.
▪ Operating efficiency ratios show that Technosystems runs a lean operation, with all ratios above the industry averages.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Lean

Lean \Lean\, v. t. [From Lean, v. i.; AS. hl[=ae]nan, v. t., fr. hleonian, hlinian, v. i.] To cause to lean; to incline; to support or rest.
--Mrs. Browning.

His fainting limbs against an oak he leant.
--Dryden.

Lean

Lean \Lean\ (l[=e]n), a. [Compar. Leaner (l[=e]n"[~e]r); superl. Leanest.] [OE. lene, AS. hl[=ae]ne; prob. akin to E. lean to incline. See Lean, v. i. ]

  1. Wanting flesh; destitute of or deficient in fat; slim; not plump; slender; meager; thin; lank; as, a lean body; a lean cattle.

  2. Wanting fullness, richness, sufficiency, or productiveness; deficient in quality or contents; slender; scant; barren; bare; mean; -- used literally and figuratively; as, the lean harvest; a lean purse; a lean discourse; lean wages. ``No lean wardrobe.''
    --Shak.

    Their lean and flashy songs.
    --Milton.

    What the land is, whether it be fat or lean.
    --Num. xiii. 20.

    Out of my lean and low ability I'll lend you something.
    --Shak.

  3. (Typog.) Of a character which prevents the compositor from earning the usual wages; -- opposed to fat; as, lean copy, matter, or type.

    Syn: slender; spare; thin; meager; lank; skinny; gaunt.

Lean

Lean \Lean\ (l[=e]n), v. t. [Icel. leyna; akin to G. l["a]ugnen to deny, AS. l[=y]gnian, also E. lie to speak falsely.] To conceal. [Obs.]
--Ray.

Lean

Lean \Lean\ (l[=e]n), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Leaned (l[=e]nd), sometimes Leant (l[e^]nt); p. pr. & vb. n. Leaning.] [OE. lenen, AS. hlinian, hleonian, v. i.; akin to OS. hlin[=o]n, D. leunen, OHG. hlin[=e]n, lin[=e]n, G. lehnen, L. inclinare, Gr. kli`nein, L. clivus hill, slope. [root]40. Cf. Declivity, Climax, Incline, Ladder.]

  1. To incline, deviate, or bend, from a vertical position; to be in a position thus inclining or deviating; as, she leaned out at the window; a leaning column. ``He leant forward.''
    --Dickens.

  2. To incline in opinion or desire; to conform in conduct; -- with to, toward, etc.

    They delight rather to lean to their old customs.
    --Spenser.

  3. To rest or rely, for support, comfort, and the like; -- with on, upon, or against.

    He leaned not on his fathers but himself.
    --Tennyson.

Lean

Lean \Lean\, n.

  1. That part of flesh which consists principally of muscle without the fat.

    The fat was so white and the lean was so ruddy.
    --Goldsmith.

  2. (Typog.) Unremunerative copy or work.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
lean

c.1200, from Old English hleonian "to bend, recline, lie down, rest," from Proto-Germanic *khlinen (cognates: Old Saxon hlinon, Old Frisian lena, Middle Dutch lenen, Dutch leunen, Old High German hlinen, German lehnen "to lean"), from PIE root *klei- "to lean, to incline" (cognates: Sanskrit srayati "leans," sritah "leaning;" Old Persian cay "to lean;" Lithuanian slyti "to slope," slieti "to lean;" Latin clinare "to lean, bend," clivus "declivity," inclinare "cause to bend," declinare "bend down, turn aside;" Greek klinein "to cause to slope, slant, incline;" Old Irish cloin "crooked, wrong;" Middle Irish cle, Welsh cledd "left," literally "slanting;" Welsh go-gledd "north," literally "left" -- for similar sense evolution, see Yemen, Benjamin, southpaw).\n

\nMeaning "to incline the body against something for support" is mid-13c. Figurative sense of "to trust for support" is from early 13c. Sense of "to lean toward mentally, to favor" is from late 14c. Related: Leaned; leaning. Colloquial lean on "put pressure on" (someone) is first recorded 1960.

lean

"thin, spare, with little flesh or fat," c.1200, from Old English hlæne "lean, thin," possibly from hlænan "cause to lean or bend," from Proto-Germanic *khlainijan, which would connect it to Old English hleonian (see lean (v.)). But perhaps rather, according to OED, from a PIE *qloinio- (with cognates in Lithuanian klynas "scrap, fragment," Lettish kleins "feeble"). Extended and figurative senses from early 14c. The noun meaning "lean animals or persons" is from c.1200, from the adjective.

lean

"action or state of leaning," 1776, from lean (v.).

Wiktionary
lean

Etymology 1 vb. 1 To incline, deviate, or bend, from a vertical position; to be in a position thus inclining or deviating. 2 To incline in opinion or desire; to conform in conduct; with ''to'', ''toward'', etc. 3 To rest or rely, for support, comfort, etc.; with ''on'', ''upon'', or ''against''. Etymology 2

  1. 1 (context of a person or animal English) slim; not fleshy. 2 (context of meat English) having little fat. 3 Having little extra or little to spare; scanty; meagre. 4 Having a low proportion or concentration of a desired substance or ingredient. 5 (context printing archaic English) Of a character which prevents the compositor from earning the usual wages; opposed to (term fat English). v

  2. To thin out (a fuel-air mixture): to reduce the fuel flow into the mixture so that there is more air or oxygen. Etymology 3

    vb. To conceal.

WordNet
lean
  1. v. to incline or bend from a vertical position; "She leaned over the banister" [syn: tilt, tip, slant, angle]

  2. cause to lean or incline; "He leaned his rifle against the wall"

  3. have a tendency or disposition to do or be something; be inclined; "She tends to be nervous before her lectures"; "These dresses run small"; "He inclined to corpulence" [syn: tend, be given, incline, run]

  4. rely on for support; "We can lean on this man"

  5. cause to lean to the side; "Erosion listed the old tree" [syn: list]

  6. [also: leant]

lean
  1. adj. lacking excess flesh; "you can't be too rich or too thin"; "Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look"-Shakespeare [syn: thin] [ant: fat]

  2. lacking in mineral content or combustible material; "lean ore"; "lean fuel" [ant: rich]

  3. containing little excess; "a lean budget"; "a skimpy allowance" [syn: skimpy]

  4. low in mineral content; "a lean ore"

  5. not profitable or prosperous; "a lean year"

  6. [also: leant]

lean
  1. n. the property possessed by a line or surface that departs from the vertical; "the tower had a pronounced tilt"; "the ship developed a list to starboard"; "he walked with a heavy inclination to the right" [syn: tilt, list, inclination, leaning]

  2. [also: leant]

Wikipedia
Lean

Lean or Leaning or LEAN may refer to:

Usage examples of "lean".

Apparently satisfied it would support his weight, he leaned back, rocking gently while Abie prepared their coffee.

As she leaned against the wall of the house, the rough texture of the red brick gently abraded her bare shoulders.

While they worked, Lukien leaned against the wagon, absently watching the stars appear.

His hot face had leaned forward a little too confidentially and he had assumed a very low Dublin accent, so that the young ladies, with one instinct, received his speech in silence.

He leaned on her, and together they followed Addis and headed toward the steps.

I peeked back over the covers and noticed Adeem leaning into Ty, whispering.

He was asking about the inertial navigation system that kept their position updated between fixes from the NAV SAT Linden leaned over the aft rail of the conn, over the chart table, and pointed with his finger to their estimated position.

Four feet away, Lieutenant Carrie Alameda watched the midshipman leaning over the chart table.

Around the third inning she leaned her head against his shoulder, and Alan hesitantly put his arm around her.

Now Alan was leaning over the sink, staring down into darkness, holding on to the darkness, which writhed and scratched beneath him.

Seregil, showing Alec deep indentations in the lean muscle on either side of his left thigh.

Seregil was leaning more heavily on his arm than he had earlier, Alec noted, wondering if it had been a mistake not going back to their room.

Leaning as close as he dared, Alec quickly told him the details of their conference at the Cockerel.

She drew Alette to her with a kind of vehemence, kissed her, and then wept silently, leaning on her shoulder.

The station agent, in green eyeshade and black alpaca worksleeves, leaned through the ticket window, talking to a friend.