• Means


    • IPA: /miːnz/
    • Rhymes: -iːnz




    1. Plural of mean
    2. (countable, singular and plural) An instrument or condition for attaining a purpose.
      She treated him as a means to an end.
      A car is a means of transport.
      • 1622, Francis Bacon, History of the reign of King Henry VII, And by this means also he had them the more at vantage, being tired and harassed with a long march; and more at mercy, being cut off far from their country, and therefore not able by any sudden flight to get to retreat, and to renew their troubles.
      • 1623, William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, Our hope in him is dead: let us return,
        And strain what other means is left unto us
        In our dear peril.
      • 2013-06-07, Ed Pilkington, ‘Killer robots’ should be banned in advance, UN told, In his submission to the UN, Christof Heyns points to the experience of drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles were intended initially only for surveillance, and their use for offensive purposes was prohibited, yet once strategists realised their perceived advantages as a means of carrying out targeted killings, all objections were swept out of the way.
    3. (uncountable, plurale tantum) Resources; riches.
      a person of means;   independent means
      He was living beyond his means.
      • Authorizing association of producers of agricultural products
      • 1955, Rex Stout, w Chapter Die Like a Dog, Some kind of writer. He didn't have to make a living; he had means.

    Usage notes

    Frequently contrasted with end ("goal"), as in “a means to an end”. Similar contrast is process vs. product.



    1. means

      (third-person singular of mean)
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