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

  • adv. In a poor, lowly, or base manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Moderately.
  • adv. In a mean manner; unworthily; basely; poorly; ungenerously.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In a mean, low, or humble degree; basely.
  • With a low estimate; disrespectfully; contemptuously: as, to think or speak meanly of a person.
  • Common; general.
  • Moderate; mild.
  • In a mean or middling manner or degree. Moderately.
  • Indifferently; poorly.

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

  • adv. poorly or in an inferior manner
  • adv. in a nasty ill-tempered manner
  • adv. in a despicable, ignoble manner
  • adv. in a miserly manner


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From mean +‎ -ly.


  • Here and now was his vindication, here at last the proof that he had not chosen his calling meanly, nor in all selfishness.

    The Brentons

  • You cannot even afford to work at a level that supports one person rather meanly, which is what some young historians can do when they only support themselves and/or can rely on others to bail them out when their cars die on I-95 on the way to a poorly paid adjunct job.

    Tenured Radical

  • First of all people wouldn't have to speak "meanly" about people if they had COMMON SENSE.

    WCAV - HomePage - Headlines

  • I was sad, sad that a Catholic priest and religious, editor of what I assume is a respected Catholic publication, would so meanly rebuke another in obvious disregard for what that other had actually said on the matter.


  • A year earlier, in his State of the Union Address of 1862, Lincoln had warned the Congress of the United States of something that body already knew: that the nation was in danger of complete dissolution and that the government and the people alike would "nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth."

    Richard T. Hughes: Echoes From Gettysburg: How We Can Save Our Country

  • Brisbane man Rex Crane thought so meanly of himself that he invented a bloody past and fell in with the battalions of military fantasists.


  • "EVERY man", wrote Samuel Johnson, "thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea."


  • Adam Tredowski has three of his covers for Interzone on the shortlist; the one for issue 220 is imaginative enough but didn't quite grab me - one meanly suspects that it has been tilted at an angle to try and distract you from the fact that it's not really clear what the picture is about.

    February Books 16) Lavinia, by Ursula Le Guin

  • And if something goes wrong, if we're laughed at or meanly criticised, oftentimes we retreat and we never take that risk again.

    A Tale of Two Teachers

  • Jerry Brown writing at Kos argues that the entire thing was poorly written, meanly concieved and should be struck down. dday at Hullaballoo reports that the issue may be decided already.

    Archive 2009-03-01


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