meant


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mean the world to (someone)

1. To be ardently loved by or exceptionally important to someone. My little daughter means the world to me—I would do absolutely anything for her. Our cats mean the world to my boyfriend—he's completely obsessed with them!
2. To be something for which someone is deeply grateful or appreciative. Thank you so much for taking care of my kids when I was in the hospital. It really means the world to me!
See also: mean, world

mean well

To have good intentions. The phrase implies that despite such intentions, one is inept, unhelpful, or a nuisance. Gerri means well, but honestly she usually just ends up getting in the way when we're trying to do work.
See also: mean, well

mean business

To be grave and resolute; to be serious about what one is promising or proposing to do. Mom sounded like she means business, so you better clean your room.
See also: business, mean

be meant to be

1. To be regarded as something in particular (which is stated after "meant to be"). Is this movie meant to be a comedy? I don't think it's funny at all.
2. To be destined to happen. In this usage, "be meant to be" is a set phrase. I'm not surprised to hear that those two are engaged—it was meant to be. I had hoped to win the election, but it just wasn't meant to be.
See also: meant

mean (something) for the best

To intend for one's actions to have a positive outcome. I meant that for the best—I really wasn't trying to hurt your feelings.
See also: mean

mean (someone) no harm

To have no intention of causing injury, offense, or negative effects (to someone). I'm so sorry that my comments got you fired—I swear, I meant no harm! Please, put down the gun, I mean you no harm.
See also: harm, mean, no

not mean (someone) any harm

To have no intention of causing injury, offense, or negative effects (to someone). I'm so sorry that my comments got you fired—I swear, I didn't mean any harm! Please, put down the gun, I don't mean you any harm.
See also: any, harm, mean, not

mean to say

To speak truthfully, correctly, or accurately. Sorry, what I meant to say was that I'll be thirty minutes late, not early. Do you mean to say that we made even less money this quarter?
See also: mean, say

mean to (do something)

To have the intention, desire, or obligation to do something. I've been meaning to see that new movie everyone is talking about. A: "Did you mow the lawn?" B: "No, I meant to do it yesterday, but I ran out of time."
See also: mean

supposed to

1. Intended, expected, or believed to do something. This new software is supposed to make things a lot more efficient, but I find it so confusing that everything is taking me twice as long! We're supposed to arrive around 3 PM, assuming our flights aren't delayed.
2. Required or obligated to do something. I was supposed to be home an hour ago—my parents are going to kill me! Please don't distract him, he's supposed to be cleaning his room.
3. Allowed or permitted to do something. (Chiefly used in questions and negative constructions.) You're not supposed to go in there! Are you sure you're supposed to be in here?
See also: supposed

mean business

to be very, very serious. Stop laughing! I mean business. I could tell from the look on her face that she meant business.
See also: business, mean

mean well

to intend to be nice, polite, helpful, etc., but fail in the effort. I know you mean well, but your comments are sort of insulting.
See also: mean, well

meant to be

destined to exist. Our love was meant to be! It was not meant to be.
See also: meant

meant to be something

destined or fated to be something. Jane was meant to be a chemist. I was meant to be rich, but something didn't work right!
See also: meant

No offense meant.

I did not mean to offend [you]. (See also No offense taken.) Mary: Excuse that last remark. No offense meant. Susan: It's okay. I was not offended.
See also: meant, no, offense

supposed to

 and someone or something is supposed to
Someone or something is meant to do something. (Frequently, in speech, supposed is reduced to s'posed. The words someone or something can be replaced with nouns or pronouns, or used themselves.) Mary: They didn't deliver the flowers we ordered. Sue: Supposed to. Give them a call. Sally: This screw doesn't fit into hole number seven in the way the instructions say it should. Bill: It's supposed to. Something's wrong.
See also: supposed

mean business

Be in earnest. For example, He really means business with this deadline. This idiom uses business in the sense of "a serious endeavor." [Mid-1800s]
See also: business, mean

supposed to

1. Intended to; also, believed to, expected to. For example, This pill is supposed to relieve your pain, or You're supposed to be my partner. [Early 1300s]
2. Required to, as in He is supposed to call home. [Mid-1800s]
3. not supposed to. Not permitted to, as in You're not supposed to smoke in here.
See also: supposed

mean business

COMMON If you mean business, you are serious and determined about what you are doing. One of them poked a shotgun at me. I could see he meant business. Now, in the wake of the student-led demonstrations, the party is trying to convince people it means business.
See also: business, mean

mean business

be in earnest.
1992 New York Times The protest is a matter of principle…and also a necessary act of assertiveness by the delegates to show they mean business.
See also: business, mean

mean to say

really admit or intend to say.
1977 Jennifer Johnston Shadows on our Skin I mean to say, Joe Logan , where are you if you can't resist putting a small white tube of poison into your mouth every half an hour?
See also: mean, say

mean ˈbusiness

(informal) be serious about what you plan to do; be determined: He means business. If we try to escape, he’ll shoot us.I’m not joking. This time I really mean business.
See also: business, mean

mean to ˈsay

used to emphasize what you are saying or to ask somebody if they really mean what they say: I mean to say, you should have known how he would react!Do you mean to say you’ve lost it?
See also: mean, say

ˈmean well

(usually disapproving) have good intentions, although their effect may not be good: Your father means well, I know, but I wish he’d stop telling us what to do.She’s always suggesting ways I could improve my cooking. I know she means well but it really annoys me. ▶ ˌwell-ˈmeaning adj.: She’s very well-meaning, but she only makes the situation worse.
See also: mean, well

be meant to be something

be generally considered to be something: This restaurant is meant to be excellent.
See also: meant, something

mean business

tv. to be very, very serious. Stop laughing! I mean business.
See also: business, mean

mean business

Informal
To be in earnest.
See also: business, mean
References in periodicals archive ?
Here Grice appears to be aware for the first time that we might say something about what the conductor should have meant, by the rings on the bell.
Until 1978, the state monopoly over the economy meant not only the restructuring of social classes but also a brake on cultural development.
The primary aim of talking about Paul's theology is to give a descriptive presentation of Paul's Christian faith and, above all, determine what Paul meant when he wrote to the Christians whom he immediately addressed.
In a sense, cultural studies can't save us, and perhaps we have yet to do a historical, analytical, coalitioned accounting for how we got here, and what these past 25 years have meant to us as we face what is in many ways a completely frightening future.
It is important to note that the founders meant only to limit the Congress in this regard.
My fascination is not so much based on what Bonhoeffer meant but by the possibility of the idea in the context of a postmodern, post-Shoah theology.
It carries a possible echo of "given up," or "yielded," or "produced," but these words were not used, and so not meant.
While these names imply strength in English, they meant nothing in other languages and were hard to pronounce in their English spelling.
Darboven may not quote Wittgenstein, but she is a truly intellectual artist, for she has understood what he meant when he said a language game was a kind of imagination of life--a matter of both.
My use of the term archaeology is meant to be a symbolic appropriation of the term as a metaphor for the risk-filled "digging " for cultural and sociopolitical elements that point to a community's thought and way of life.
The preachers of the Protestant denominations that I was familiar with growing up used to talk about "full-time Christian service," by which they meant being a minister or a missionary, which effectively removed from everybody else the possibility of being a "full-time Christian.
denotes an arrow, usually meant to say something about the person speaking.
of New Words as "A respelling of media, meant to represent a common colloquial pronunciation of the word.
Religious freedom in Zhong Guo is part of the legal framework set up by the Communists in 1949, meant to allow all in the country equal opportunities to serve the state.
Exactly what is meant by this distinction is not always clear.