Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Bearing or manner, especially as it reveals an inner state of mind: "He was a Vietnam veteran with a haunted mien” ( James Traub).
  • n. An appearance or aspect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Demeanor; facial expression or attitude, especially one which is intended by its bearer.
  • n. A specific facial expression

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Aspect; air; manner; demeanor; carriage; bearing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A person's air, manner, or expression of countenance; look; bearing; appearance; carriage.
  • n. Synonyms Aspect, demeanor, deportment, port.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. dignified manner or conduct

Etymologies

Alteration (influenced by French mine, appearance) of Middle English demeine, demeanor, from Old French, from demener, to behave; see demean1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French mine (whence also Danish mine and German Miene), appearance, perhaps from Breton min, face of an animal, or from Latin minio, to redden. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Gluten as a unique food ingredient was discovered by Chinese noodle makers around the 6th century, and by the 11th was known as mien chin, or the “muscle of flour.”

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • The dogs got nothing, though they watched with wistful mien from a distance, sitting up in the snow, their tails curled around their paws.

    Chapter IV

  • Such a nice affected mien is not only a force upon that which is natural, and ridiculous before men, men of sense; but as it is an evidence of a vain mind, it is offensive to

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi)

  • Our people believed that if you give a common thing the meaning of something else you really want—in this case, a bone given the name and mien of a child—the spirit world is tricked into thinking you already have that longed-for object and looks away just long enough for the longed-for object to slip into its place.

    Freud’s Blind Spot

  • At a restaurant near the cross-road we had rice and a cup of tea, and a bowl of the vermicelli soup known as mien, the muleteer and his son sitting down with my men.

    AN AUSTRALIAN IN CHINA

  • The differences are minute and the mien is the same: bold, poised and sexy.

    Fashion World of SL

  • Obsolete form of "mien": air, bearing, carriage or manner, as expressing character or mood; appearance; expression.

    Annotations

  • As the reader perceives, slang in its entirety, slang of four hundred years ago, like the slang of today, is permeated with that sombre, symbolical spirit which gives to all words a mien which is now mournful, now menacing.

    Les Miserables

  • Major was a ruddy-complexioned man in his late forties with the closed, hard face of a York-shireman, a handlebar mustache, and the kind of mien one found only in retired boxers, which as it turned out he had been during his stint in the army.

    Floating City

  • As the reader perceives, slang in its entirety, slang of four hundred years ago, like the slang of to-day, is permeated with that sombre, symbolical spirit which gives to all words a mien which is now mournful, now menacing.

    Les Miserables, Volume IV, Saint Denis

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Comments

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  • They're not synonyms, Oro; at least in my understanding, synonyms all have to belong to the same language. But they do happen to be cognates; hence the similarity.

    November 23, 2009

  • mine (English), mien (French), and mein (German) are synonyms and anagrams in three languages.

    November 23, 2009

  • You could say that Elspeth had a mean mien. And apparently Fingal isn't the only spectral aspect of the book - bluejackets with strong hands that grip. At least he wasn't gripped by the strong hands of the bluebottles. Or bluestockings. Or bluebonnets.

    November 29, 2007

  • "Elspeth stood up with dignity and advanced with a threatening mien towards Peter McQueen, who backed a step or two till he was gripped by the strong hands of the bluejackets." - 'Fingal's Ghost, Kathleen Fidler.

    November 29, 2007

  • "BLOOM (Shuddering, shrinking, joins his hands with hangdog mien.)"
    Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    February 8, 2007