(noun, adjective, verb)


1. lacking excess flesh; slim.

- Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look

Similar word(s): ectomorphic, anorectic, anorexic, cadaverous, emaciated, gaunt, haggard, pinched, skeletal, wasted, lank, spindly, rawboned, reedlike, reedy, twiggy, twiglike, scarecrowish, boney, bony, scraggly, scraggy, scrawny, skinny, underweight, weedy, shriveled, shrivelled, shrunken, withered, wizen, wizened, slender, slight, slim, svelte, spare, trim, stringy, wiry, sylphic, sylphlike, wisplike, wispy, thin, thin

2. lacking in mineral content or combustible material

- lean ore

- lean fuel

3. having little extra or little to spare.

- a lean budget

Similar word(s): deficient, insufficient, skimpy

4. not profitable or prosperous

- a lean year

Similar word(s): unprofitable

Sentences with lean as an adjective:

- a lean budget; a lean harvest

- A lean ore hardly worth mining.

- Running on too lean a fuel-air mixture will cause, among other problems, your internal combustion engine to heat up too much.

- lean copy, matter, or type


1. the property possessed by a line or surface that departs from the vertical

Similar word(s): inclination, leaning, list, tilt

Definition categories: attribute, position


1. to incline or bend from a vertical position

- She leaned over the banister

Similar word(s): angle, slant, tilt, tip

Definition categories: motion, bend, flex

2. cause to lean or incline

- He leaned his rifle against the wall

Definition categories: contact, lay, place, pose, position, put, set

3. have a tendency or disposition to do or be something; be inclined

Similar word(s): incline, run, tend

Definition categories: stative, be

4. rely on for support

- We can lean on this man

Definition categories: cognition, trust

5. cause to lean to the side

Similar word(s): list

Definition categories: motion, move

Sentences with lean as a verb:

- a leaning column

- She leaned out of the window.

- I'm leaning towards voting Conservative in the next election.