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mean sb. (used in sing. and pl. with the sense ‘instrument, agency, method, &c. employed for doing something’ the pl. sometimes taking sing. concord; the meaning ‘pecuniary resources,’ e.g. Meas. II. ii. 24, is not pre-S.)
1. middle position, medium Mer.V. I. ii. 48 “seated in the ,” Ant. II. vii. 22 “the height, the lowness, or the ” ; moderation 1H6 I. ii. 121 “since he keeps no ”
2. tenor or alto (intermediate between treble and bass) Gent. I. ii. 93, LLL. V. ii. 329, Wint. IV. ii. [iii]. 46
3. something interposed or intervening 3H6 III. ii. 141 “the m-s that keep me from it,” Ant. III. ii. 32.
4. “make m-s,” take steps, use efforts Gent. V. iv. 137, R3 V. iii. 40 “make some good m-s to speak with him,” 250, Cym. II. iv. 3 “What m-s do you make to him?.”
5. opportunity of doing something, of access to a person, &c. Err. I. ii. 18 “having so good a ,” R3 IV. ii. 75 “open means to come to them,” Ham. IV. vi. 14 “give these fellows some means to the king.”
6. (one's) instrumentality, influence, instigation 2H6 III. ii. 124 “murder'd By Suffolk and the Cardinal Beaufort's m-s,” R3 I. iii. 78 “Our brother is imprison'd by your means.”
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hide References (11 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (11):
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 2.7
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 3.2
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 4.6
    • William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1.2
    • William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, 5.4
    • William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors, 1.2
    • William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, 2.4
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry VI, 1.2
    • William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henry VI, 3.2
    • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, 1.2
    • William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, 4.2
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