Meaning of MEANS in English


Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.


A ~ of doing something is a method, instrument, or process which can be used to do it. Means is both the singular and the plural form for this use.

The move is a ~ to fight crime...

The army had perfected the use of terror as a ~ of controlling the population...

Business managers are focused on increasing their personal wealth by any available ~.

N-COUNT: with supp


You can refer to the money that someone has as their ~. (FORMAL)

...a person of ~...

He did not have the ~ to compensate her.



If someone is living beyond their ~, they are spending more money than they can afford. If someone is living within their ~, they are not spending more money than they can afford.

The more gifts she received, the more she craved, until he was living beyond his ~...

PHRASE: v PHR, v-link PHR


If you do something by ~ of a particular method, instrument, or process, you do it using that method, instrument, or process.

This is a two year course taught by ~ of lectures and seminars...



You can say ‘by all ~’ to tell someone that you are very willing to allow them to do something.

‘Can I come and have a look at your house?’—‘Yes by all ~’.



You use expressions such as ‘by no ~’, ‘not by any ~’, and ‘by no manner of ~’ to emphasize that something is not true.

This is by no ~ out of the ordinary...

They were not finished, however, not by any ~.

PHRASE: PHR with cl/group, PHR before v emphasis


If you say that something is a ~ to an end, you mean that it helps you to achieve what you want, although it may not be enjoyable or important itself.

We seem to have lost sight of the fact that marketing is only a ~ to an end.

PHRASE: usu v-link PHR

Collins COBUILD.      Толковый словарь английского языка для изучающих язык Коллинз COBUILD (международная база данных языков Бирмингемского университета) .