mean by

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mean by something

to intend a certain meaning by words or deeds. What do you mean by that? I did not mean anything special by my remarks.
See also: mean
References in classic literature ?
Our feeling of unreality results from our having already realized that we are dealing with an image, and cannot therefore be the definition of what we mean by an image.
Then what do you mean by the 'interest' you just now spoke of?
Then I ask him what right has he to do it, and what does he mean by it, and how comes he to be taking such a liberty without my consent, when I am raising myself in the scale of society by my own exertions and Mr Headstone's aid, and have no right to have any darkness cast upon my prospects, or any imputation upon my respectability, through my sister?
What some people mean by "musical," others refer to by the oddly opprobrious but perfectly apt term of "mickey-mousing.
But that gets us back to the problem of what do we mean by efficient and how do we measure it when we know what we mean?
We don't exactly know what we mean by the word, religion.