mean (something) by (something)(redirected from meaning it by)
mean (something) by (something)
To have some hidden or ulterior meaning, judgment, or intention behind one's words or actions. Often used in questions and negative constructions. I didn't mean anything by what I said—I was just making an observation about your clothes, that's all! A: "It's not bad, for someone like you." B: "Hey, what do you mean by that?"
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.