The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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.
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
nth root of the product of the n quantities being
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
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
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.
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
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
By any means, in any way; possibly; at all.
If by any means I might attain to the resurrection
of the dead. --Phil. iii.
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.