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be meant to (do something)
To be obliged or supposed to do something. It's nearly 6:30. Aren't you meant to be seeing a movie at 7 o'clock? Hey, you're meant to have your homework finished before you go out, you know that!
be meant to be
1. To be intended as something in particular (which is stated after "be"). Is this movie meant to be a comedy? I don't think it's funny at all.
2. To be destined to happen. 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.
mean (one) no harm
To have no intention of causing harm, offense, or negative effects (to one). 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.
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) 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?"
mean (something) for the best
To intend for one's actions to produce a positive outcome. I meant that for the best—I really wasn't trying to hurt your feelings.
To be grave and resolute; to be serious about what one is promising or proposing to do. It sounded like Mom means business, so you'd better clean your room.
1. To intend for something to be received, heard, or understood by a particular person. A noun or pronoun can be used between "mean" and "for"; often used in passive constructions. Sorry, my question was actually meant for Mrs. Roberts. I never meant those criticisms for you! You ate them all? But those cookies were meant for the children!
2. To be of importance, significance, or worth to one. A noun or pronoun can be used between "mean" and "for." It's hard to quantify what this amazing gift means for our community, but suffice to say that it will change many lives for the better. Criticism like that doesn't mean anything for me.
mean no offense
To not imply or intend any offensive meaning in what one says or does. Usually used in the past tense. I truly meant no offense by what I said—I was just making a literal observation about your clothes, that's all! I'm sure you meant no offense, but just consider for a moment how someone might interpret what you said.
1. Literally, to have no discernible meaning to someone; to be incomprehensible (to someone). Could you just tell me in plain English? All that technical jargon means nothing to me. Without the right decoding software, you'll just be left with a document full of random characters that mean nothing.
2. To be completely insignificant or trivial (to someone). All your projections mean nothing if we can't turn them into actual sales. It was just a stupid one-time hookup, I swear—he meant nothing to me!
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!
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."
mean to (one)
To be of importance, significance, or worth to one. A noun or pronoun can be used between "mean" and "to." It's hard to quantify what this amazing gift means to our community, but suffice to say that it will change many lives for the better. Criticism like that doesn't mean anything to me—I just let it roll off me like water off a duck's back.
mean to say
To intend to say; to really mean. Sorry, what I meant to say was that I'll be 30 minutes late, not early. Do you mean to say that we made even less money this quarter?
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.
meant to be
1. Intended to have a particular meaning or quality. Is this movie meant to be a comedy? I don't think it's funny at all. The violence in the brush strokes is meant to represent the oppression of the people under the tyrannical ruler.
2. Thought of, perceived, or regarded in a particular way. He's mean to be a brilliant director, though I haven't seen any of his work myself. I've heard that's it's meant to be a beautiful country to visit in the summer.
3. Destined or fated to have or attain a certain status, condition, or position. I've felt since I was a young boy that I was meant to be an actor I always thought you were meant to be a great leader of some kind.
4. Destined or fated to take place, exist, or come to pass. 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.
no offense meant
What I have said or am about to say is not meant to offend or insult you, even though it could be interpreted that way. No offense meant, but I think it may be time you cleaned up your kitchen. All I'm saying is that I think we could use some more help with the renovation—no offense meant.
not mean (one) any harm
To have no intention of causing harm, offense, or negative effects (to one). 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.
not mean any offense
To not imply or intend any offensive meaning in what one says or does. Usually used in the past tense. I truly didn't meant any offense by what I said—I was just making a literal observation about your clothes, that's all! I'm sure you never meant any offense, but just consider for a moment how someone might interpret what you said.
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?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
to be very, very serious. Stop laughing! I mean business. I could tell from the look on her face that she meant business.
mean no offense
not to intend to offend. (See also take no offense.) I'm really sorry. I meant no offense. It was simply a slip of the tongue. He meant no offense by it.
mean nothing(to someone)
1. not to make sense to someone. This sentence means nothing to me. It isn't clearly written. I'm sorry. This message means nothing.
2. [for someone] not to have feeling for someone or something. Do I mean nothing to you after all these years? Do all those years of devotion mean nothing?
mean something for someone or something
1. Lit. to imply something important for someone or something; to be important or meaningful for someone or something. Are your comments supposed to mean something special for me? I mean these remarks for the government.
2. Fig. to intend for someone or something to have or receive something. Do you mean this gift for me? I mean this gift for the entire community.
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.
meant to be
destined to exist. Our love was meant to be! It was not meant to be.
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!
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.
supposed toand 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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
mean businessbe 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.
mean to sayreally 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?
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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.
mean to ˈsayused 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?
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.
be meant to be somethingbe generally considered to be something: This restaurant is meant to be excellent.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
tv. to be very, very serious. Stop laughing! I mean business.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
To be in earnest.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.