lean

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a lean patch

A period of failure, decline, or poor performance or results. Almost every new business experiences a lean patch at some point or another.
See also: lean, patch

go through a lean patch

To experience or be in the midst of a period of failure, decline, or poor performance or results. Her business has been going through a bit of a lean patch lately. If things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Though the team has gone through a lean patch in recent years, they still have a very devoted fanbase.
See also: lean, patch

have a lean patch

To experience or be in the midst of a period of failure, decline, or poor performance or results. Her business has had a bit of a lean patch lately. if things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Though the team has been having a lean patch in recent years, they still have a very devoted fanbase.
See also: have, lean, patch

bend over backwards

(to do something) Go to fall over backwards (to do something).
See also: backward, bend

bend over backwards (to do something) (for someone)

Fig. to work very hard to accomplish something for someone; to go out of one's way (to do something) (for someone). He will bend over backwards to help you. I bent over backwards for you, and you showed no thanks!
See also: backward, bend

lean across someone or something

to incline oneself across someone or something. She leaned across me to reach the telephone and spilled my wine. Laura leaned across the table and knocked my coffee over.
See also: across, lean

lean against someone or something

to prop oneself against someone or something. The child leaned against her sister to keep warm. I leaned against the back of the chair and went right to sleep.
See also: lean

lean and mean

Fig. fit and ready for hard, efficient work. Dave got himself lean and mean and is ready to play in Saturday's game. The management is lean and mean and looks to turn a profit next year.
See also: and, lean, mean

lean back

[for someone] to recline backwards, usually in a chair. Lean back and make yourself comfortable. Let's lean back and be comfortable.
See also: back, lean

lean back (on someone or something)

to recline backwards, pressing on someone or something. Don't lean back on me! I'm not a chair! Lean back on the couch and tell me what you are thinking.
See also: back, lean

lean back (on someone or something)

to recline backwards, pressing on someone or something. Don't lean back on me! I'm not a chair! Lean back on the couch and tell me what you are thinking.
See also: back, lean

lean down

to bend over. Lean down and tie your shoe before you trip. He leaned down and picked something up from the floor.
See also: down, lean

lean forward

to bend forward. Lean forward a minute so I can put a cushion behind your back. When Betsy leaned forward, she lost her balance and fell.
See also: forward, lean

lean in (to something)

to incline or press into something. You have to lean into the wind when you walk or you will be blown over. As you walk into the wind, lean in a little bit. The north wall of the barn leans in a little. Is it going to fall?
See also: lean

lean on someone

Fig. to try to make someone do something; to coerce someone to do something. (From lean on someone or something.) If she refuses to do it, lean on her a bit. Don't lean on me! I don't have to do it if I don't want to.
See also: lean, on

lean on someone or something

 
1. Lit. to incline or press on someone or something. Don't lean on me. I'm not strong enough to support both of us. Lean on the wall and rest a little while.
2. Fig. to depend on someone or something. You lean on your parents too much. You must be more independent. You can't lean on the government forever.
See also: lean, on

lean out of something

to hang or bend out of something or some place. She leaned out of the window so she could watch what was going on. Don't lean out of the car window. You will fall.
See also: lean, of, out

lean over

 
1. to bend over. Lean over and pick the pencil up yourself! I'm not your servant! As Kelly leaned over to tie her shoes, her chair slipped out from under her.
2. to tilt over. The fence leaned over and almost fell. As the wind blew, the tree leaned over farther and farther.
See also: lean

lean over backwards

(to do something) Go to fall over backwards (to do something).
See also: backward, lean

lean something against someone or something

to prop something against someone or something. She leaned her spade against the house and wiped the sweat from her brow. Bill leaned the mirror against his leg while he screwed the hook into the wall.
See also: lean

lean something forward

to tilt or bend something forward. Lean the board forward a little bit, please. Someone leaned this panel forward a little too much.
See also: forward, lean

*lean times (ahead)

Fig. a future period of lowered income or revenue; a future period when there will be shortages of goods and suffering. (*Typically: be ~; cause ~; have ~; mean ~.) The economy is going sour which means lean times ahead.
See also: lean, times

lean toward doing something

to tend toward doing something; to favor doing something. The union is leaning toward accepting the proposal. My friends leaned toward swimming instead of shopping.
See also: lean, toward

lean toward someone or something

 
1. to incline toward someone or something. Tom is leaning toward Randy. I think he is going to fall on him. The tree is leaning toward the edge of the cliff. It will fall eventually.
2. to tend to favor [choosing] someone or something. lam leaning toward Sarah as the new committee head. I'm leaning toward a new committee.
See also: lean, toward

bend over backwards

to try very hard lean over backwards We want your business and will bend over backwards to keep it.
Usage notes: usually used to describe efforts to help or please someone
Related vocabulary: fall all over yourself (to do something)
See also: backward, bend

lean on somebody/something

1. to depend on someone or something The children leaned on each other for help and comfort. Verplank leaned on his experience as a waiter to figure out how to behave when he met the prince.
2. to put pressure on someone or something to get what you want The Spanish teacher had to lean on the school principal to get new textbooks for the class.
See also: lean, on

lean over backwards

to try very hard bend over backwards She and her staff will lean over backwards to see that you are satisfied with their services.
Usage notes: usually used to describe efforts to help or please someone
Related vocabulary: fall all over yourself (to do something)
See also: backward, lean

bend/lean over backwards to do something

  (British, American & Australian) also fall over backwards to do something (Australian)
to try very hard to do something, especially to help or please someone else Banks are bending over backwards to help those in difficulties.
See know backwards
See also: backward, bend

bend over backwards

Also, lean over backwards. Exert oneself to the fullest extent, as in Dad bent over backwards so as not to embarrass Stasia's new boyfriend. This phrase transfers the gymnastic feat of a backbend to taking a great deal of trouble for someone or something. [c. 1920] Also see under fall all over.
See also: backward, bend

lean on

1. Rely on, depend on, as in He's leaning on me for help. [Mid-1400s]
2. Exert pressure on one, especially to obtain something or make one do something against his or her will. For example, The gangsters were leaning on local storekeepers to pay them protection money. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
See also: lean, on

lean on

v.
1. To rest on or be supported by something: I leaned on the crutch to rest my injured foot.
2. To place something so that it rests on or is supported by some other thing: Don't lean the ladder on the awning—you might damage it.
3. To rely on someone for assistance or support: When I became sick, I leaned on my family for support.
4. Slang To pressure someone to do something: The mobsters leaned on the store owner to sell his business.
See also: lean, on

lean and mean

mod. capable and ready for hard, efficient work. Ron got himself lean and mean and is ready to play in Saturday’s game.
See also: and, lean, mean
References in periodicals archive ?
MEN Physical qualities looked for include a degree of leanness but with a curvaceous outline rather than being too thin.
Would UK managers aspire to that sort of leanness and meanness?
As researchers map out the active genes and develop tests to identify animals having them, DECI can be programmed to more precisely define impacts of genetic leanness and tenderness in individual herds.
Fitness experts in Colorado said that there was no one reason for the leanness of the state's residents, but that relatively good weather and the abundance of recreational activities, many of them related to the mountains, surely helped.
When levels of PGE2 are decreased because of the lack of AdPLA, fat breakdown proceeds unchecked, resulting in leanness even in animals that eat all day long," said post-doctoral fellow Robin Duncan, co-lead author of the study.
He said: "A number of Southern European markets such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece continue to favour the meat from very young bulls for leanness and tenderness.
Thongs wormed their way into the national consciousness several years ago - mainly for women - but the gay culture, with its twin obsessions of youth and leanness, has long embraced the thong.
One of its kind in China, CMEA is an unbiased evaluation of supply chain efficiencies with respect to their leanness and flexibility.
For the second year in a row, MLC classification reports compiled for EBLEX from a representative sample of lambs slaughtered in 2004 reveal just under 60pc of all English carcases classifying `R3L or better' to deliver the market's preferred combination of conformation and leanness.
These are dark times that worship at the altar of Kylie Minogue's bottom, Liz Hurley's post-pregnancy slenderness and Linda Barker's 40-something leanness.
The Danes have always been very much led by what the market is requiring and leanness has been the greatest single force behind consumer purchase," said Tulip International sales and marketing director, Jim Moseley
Ractopamine is used to promote leanness in pork and beef.
Ractopamine is used as a feed additive to promote leanness in meat animals.
Americans pick this popular pork cut because it is easy to prepare, offers endless possibilities due to its versatility and leanness, and pairs well with any side dish.
These include the tangible attributes of leanness price, and freshness, and the intangible qualities such as taste, cooking performance, water content and, increasingly, production standards.