In mathematics, mean has several different definitions depending on the context. In probability and statistics, mean and expected value are used synonymously to refer to one measure of the central tendency either of a probability distribution or of the random variable characterized by that distribution. In the case of a discrete probability distribution of a random variable X, the mean is equal to the sum over every possible value weighted by the probability of that value; that is, it is computed by taking the product of each possible value x of X and its probability P, and then adding all these products together, giving ...

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  1. A method or course of action used to achieve some result.
  2. An intermediate step or intermediate steps.
  3. Something which is intermediate or in the middle; an intermediate value or range of values; a medium.
  4. The middle part of three-part polyphonic music; now specifically, the alto part in polyphonic music; an alto instrument.
  5. The average of a set of values, calculated by summing them together and dividing by the number of terms; the arithmetic mean.
  6. Any function of multiple variables that satisfies certain properties and yields a number representative of its arguments; or, the number so yielded; a measure of central tendency.
  7. Either of the two numbers in the middle of a conventionally presented proportion, as 2 and 3 in 1:2=3:6.


  1. To intend.
    1. To intend, to plan (to do); to have as one's intention.
      I didn't mean to knock your tooth out.
      I mean to go to Baddeck this summer.
      I meant to take the car in for a smog check, but it slipped my mind.
    2. To have intentions of a given kind.
      Don't be angry; she meant well.
    3. To intend (something) for a given purpose or fate; to predestine.
      Actually this desk was meant for the subeditor.
      Man was not meant to question such things.
  2. To convey meaning.
    1. To convey (a given sense); to signify, or indicate (an object or idea).
      I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean.
The sky is red this morning—does that mean we're in for a storm?
  1. Of a word, symbol etc: to have reference to, to signify.
    What does this hieroglyph mean?
  2. To have conviction in (something said or expressed); to be sincere in (what one says).
    Does she really mean what she said to him last night?
    Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  3. To result in; to bring about.
    One faltering step means certain death.
  4. To be important (to).
    My home life means a lot to me.

Verb (etymology 2)

  1. To complain, lament.
  2. To pity; to comfort.


  1. Common; general.
  2. Of a common or low origin, grade, or quality; common; humble.
  3. Low in quality or degree; inferior; poor; shabby.
  4. Without dignity of mind; destitute of honour; low-minded; spiritless; base.
    a mean motive
  5. Of little value or account; worthy of little or no regard; contemptible; despicable.
  6. Niggardly; penurious; miserly; stingy.
  7. Of little value or account; low in worth or estimation; worthy of little or no regard; contemptible; despicable.
  8. Disobliging; pettily offensive or unaccommodating; small.
  9. Selfish; acting without consideration of others; unkind.
  10. Causing or intending to cause intentional harm; bearing ill will towards another; cruel; malicious.
  11. Powerful; fierce; harsh; damaging.
  12. Accomplished with great skill; deft; hard to compete with.
  13. Difficult, tricky.

Adjective (etymology 2)

  1. Having the mean (see noun below) as its value.
  2. Middling; intermediate; moderately good, tolerable.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: mean
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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