no mean


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no mean (something)

Something considerably important, difficult, or noteworthy; something that is not trivial or easy to obtain. Primarily heard in UK. Defeating an incumbent president is no mean feat, but we feel confident that our candidate has what it takes. You should be proud: placing in the top five at an Olympic event is no mean accomplishment.
See also: mean

no mean

INFORMAL
COMMON
1. You can use no mean before a word describing what someone does to show that someone does something well. She was no mean performer on a variety of other instruments. Moreover, Ramsay was no mean thinker himself.
2. You can use no mean before words like `achievement' or `task' to show that someone has done something difficult and deserves to be admired for it. To destroy 121 enemy aircraft is no mean record. Repton reached the final, and since around 1,500 schools entered the competition, that was no mean achievement.
See also: mean
References in classic literature ?
I mean, that we are liable to be imposed upon, and to confer our choicest favours often on the undeserving, as you must own was your case in your bounty to that worthless fellow Partridge: for two or three such examples must greatly lessen the inward satisfaction which a good man would otherwise find in generosity; nay, may even make him timorous in bestowing, lest he should be guilty of supporting vice, and encouraging the wicked; a crime of a very black dye, and for which it will by no means be a sufficient excuse, that we have not actually intended such an encouragement; unless we have used the utmost caution in chusing the objects of our beneficence.
I conceived of its effect then, but I conceived of it as a misfortune, a fatality; now I am by no means sure that it was so; hereafter the creation of beauty, as we call it, for beauty's sake, may be considered something monstrous.
This is a matter for the psychologist, and by no means an easy matter.
Dashwood could penetrate, and at last, without saying a word, quitted the room, and walked out towards the village--leaving the others in the greatest astonishment and perplexity on a change in his situation, so wonderful and so sudden;--a perplexity which they had no means of lessening but by their own conjectures.
I had no means of finding Norah without your assistance.
I have not proposed to the young lady, and, between ourselves, I am by no means certain, on reflection, that I ever should have committed myself to that extent.