Mean

(redirected from meanness)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

MEAN. This word is sometimes used for mesne. (q.v.)

References in classic literature ?
Therefore it is wiser to have a reputation for meanness which brings reproach without hatred, than to be compelled through seeking a reputation for liberality to incur a name for rapacity which begets reproach with hatred.
He was mean; and, like most other mean men, he lacked the ability to conceal his meanness. Captain Auld was not born a slaveholder.
I exulted to have Thackeray attack the aristocrats, and expose their wicked pride and meanness, and I never noticed that he did not propose to do away with aristocracy, which is and must always be just what it has been, and which cannot be changed while it exists at all.
These, in the days of their abundance, ever regarded gold as dross, and have not yet got over that only impediment in the way of their amassing wealth, but they want no dross from Nicodemus Boffin, Esquire; No, Mr Boffin; the world may term it pride, paltry pride if you will, but they wouldn't take it if you offered it; a loan, sir--for fourteen weeks to the day, interest calculated at the rate of five per cent per annum, to be bestowed upon any charitable institution you may name--is all they want of you, and if you have the meanness to refuse it, count on being despised by these great spirits.
Many an irksome noise, go a long way off, is heard as music, a proud, sweet satire on the meanness of our lives.
Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man's features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.
Then, I said, we must take Damon into our counsels; and he will tell us what rhythms are expressive of meanness, or insolence, or fury, or other unworthiness, and what are to be reserved for the expression of opposite feelings.
Or is the same control to be extended to other artists, and are they also to be prohibited from exhibiting the opposite forms of vice and intemperance and meanness and indecency in sculpture and building and the other creative arts; and is he who cannot conform to this rule of ours to be prevented from practising his art in our State, lest the taste of our citizens be corrupted by him?
The government should test our strength and we will test their meanness.
In a series of tweets, Locsin branded Bush as a 'decent human being and one of the smartest in its history' for having no 'spot of meanness.'
The US administration has already demonstrated meanness of spirit in its collusion with the Israeli occupation and its theft of land and resources....now it is exercising economic meanness by punishing the Palestinian victims of this occupation," she added.
We at Curriculum Review thought it's important for readers to know the difference between bullying and meanness from a leading parenting expert to help teachers and administrators identify it at school.