Mean Mean, n. 1. That which is mean, or intermediate, between two extremes of place, time, or number; the middle point or place; middle rate or degree; mediocrity; medium; absence of extremes or excess; moderation; measure. But to speak in a mean, the virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude. --Bacon. There is a mean in all things. --Dryden. The extremes we have mentioned, between which the wellinstracted Christian holds the mean, are correlatives. --I. Taylor. 2. (Math.) A quantity having an intermediate value between several others, from which it is derived, and of which it expresses the resultant value; usually, unless otherwise specified, it is the simple average, formed by adding the quantities together and dividing by their number, which is called an arithmetical mean. A geometrical mean is the square root of the product of the quantities. 3. That through which, or by the help of which, an end is attained; something tending to an object desired; intermediate agency or measure; necessary condition or coagent; instrument. Their virtuous conversation was a mean to work the conversion of the heathen to Christ. --Hooker. You may be able, by this mean, to review your own scientific acquirements. --Coleridge. Philosophical doubt is not an end, but a mean. --Sir W. Hamilton. Note: In this sense the word is usually employed in the plural form means, and often with a singular attribute or predicate, as if a singular noun. By this means he had them more at vantage. --Bacon. What other means is left unto us. --Shak. 4. pl. Hence: Resources; property, revenue, or the like, considered as the condition of easy livelihood, or an instrumentality at command for effecting any purpose; disposable force or substance. Your means are very slender, and your waste is great. --Shak. 5. (Mus.) A part, whether alto or tenor, intermediate between the soprano and base; a middle part. [Obs.] The mean is drowned with your unruly base. --Shak. 6. Meantime; meanwhile. [Obs.] --Spenser. 7. A mediator; a go-between. [Obs.] --Piers Plowman. He wooeth her by means and by brokage. --Chaucer. By all means, certainly; without fail; as, go, by all means. By any means, in any way; possibly; at all. If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. --Phil. iii. ll. By no means, or By no manner of means, not at all; certainly not; not in any degree. The wine on this side of the lake is by no means so good as that on the other. --Addison.