mean as

mean (something) as (something else)

To have a particular meaning or intention when saying or doing something. Often used in negative constructions. I didn't mean that as an insult—on the contrary, I meant it as a compliment! I don't think he meant it as a snub to you when he turned his back like that. I think he just wasn't thinking about how it would come across.
See also: mean

mean something as something

to intend something to be understood as something. Do you mean your remarks as criticism? I meant my comment as encouragement.
See also: mean