Definition of mean streets in English:

mean streets

plural noun

  • An area of a city where the poor or socially deprived live or work, or an area that is noted for violence and crime.

    ‘the mean streets of the South Bronx’
    • ‘Because of his football prowess, David leaves the mean streets of the city behind to attend St. Matthews, an elite prep school in an ideal New England pastoral setting.’
    • ‘The mean streets of Detroit form the backdrop and almost envelope the viewer in the crime and grime which surround them; making you feel dirty as a result.’
    • ‘As a boy Jimenez was attracted to Chicago's mean streets.’
    • ‘A strong neighborhood feeling grew out of the patchwork of communities thrown together on these mean streets.’
    • ‘His New York is instantly recognisable, from the famous skyline to the dirty, mean streets.’
    • ‘It starts in the 1970s as three friends, Tre, Doughboy, and Ricky, learn hard lessons on the mean streets of their hometown.’
    • ‘Suddenly all those familiar mean streets seem different.’
    • ‘Lady grew up on the mean streets of Fort Worth, Texas.’
    • ‘They laugh and snort cocaine together, but his main refuge from the mean streets is cabaret glamour.’
    • ‘Raised on the mean streets of New York, Nellie McKay is a jazz sensation who also raps.’