Definition of meanness in English:

meanness

noun

mass noun
  • 1British Lack of generosity; miserliness.

    • ‘It belies the myth of Scottish meanness, eh, what with that and Ken's generous lift the previous night.’
    • ‘He censures the cruelty of slave masters, the dodges of legacy hunters, and the meanness of the wealthy, but the targets of his criticisms are normally anonymous.’
    • ‘Scots meanness was actually invented by a Scot, the comedian Harry Lauder; before him, Highland hospitality was a universally used phrase meaning generosity.’
    • ‘Nothing but meanness is stopping us having homes like the Jetsons.’
    • ‘He has written to the Berlin-based national association of advertising agencies telling them their obsession with Scottish meanness is damaging.’
    • ‘Kidman's thriftiness was sometimes interpreted as meanness, but while he sacked employees for trivial waste, he was generous enough to donate properties and money to charitable causes.’
    • ‘As well as provoking mirth, the alleged meanness of Scots is also a powerful marketing tool.’
    • ‘McMaster has been very successful in off-setting the meanness of the public purse by extending sponsorship and gifts to the present 28% of income.’
    • ‘The Holyrood project has scuppered Scotland's reputation for meanness - perhaps a Minister for Frugality is needed or a Department of Thrift.’
    miserliness, niggardliness, close-fistedness, parsimony, parsimoniousness, penny-pinching, cheese-paring, penury, illiberality, greed, avarice, acquisitiveness
    View synonyms
  • 2Unkindness, spitefulness, or unfairness.

    ‘all the hatred and meanness, despair and sorrow surrounding us’
    • ‘There were threats, and he would come home crying about all the meanness in the world.’
    • ‘If you want the goodness, of which there is much, you have to put up with the meanness, of which there is much.’
    • ‘But prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft.’
    • ‘The same apprehensions, in every situation, regulate his notions of meanness or of dignity.’
    • ‘It allows deep significance to be read into mediocrity, vacuity, cheapness, meanness.’
    • ‘Most of the time meanness is more dangerous than civilized standards.’
    • ‘All of history's great leaders have been narcissistic; in combination with generosity of spirit, you get Lincoln; in combination with meanness of spirit, you get Henry VIII.’
    • ‘The domestic theatre is her strength, her writer's eye picking out the daily victories, everyday meanness, with sensitivity and sympathy.’
    • ‘Scrooge has been immortalised in the English language as the epitome of miserliness and meanness of spirit.’
    • ‘Its most malign expression is meanness and luridness that, so mendaciously, pretends to be fierce truth holding up a mirror to meanness and luridness.’
    • ‘I can imagine how I must have felt as that little girl, being introduced to the world of unfairness and meanness that can abound.’
    • ‘The awareness of their individual blemishes and shortcomings inclines the frustrated to detect ill will and meanness in their fellow men.’
    • ‘I stand shoulder to shoulder with all denouncers of meanness.’
    nastiness, mean-spiritedness, spitefulness, disagreeableness, unpleasantness, unkindness
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1North American Aggressive character; viciousness.
      ‘he is also callous, with a streak of meanness’
      • ‘Even in relationship to his own soldiers, there is nothing at the core of this man but visceral meanness.’
      • ‘She looked for light of injury in his eyes, or delicate meanness rising up against her, but she saw nothing.’
      • ‘Junior high is a particular challenge socially and prime time for bullies to ply their special brand of meanness.’
      • ‘Mom's criticism might be a sign of her meanness, for instance, but it could also be an awkward expression of her love.’
      • ‘He manages his household with a mind free from the taint of meanness.’
      • ‘The women might have been sweet but they could also whip out a streak of meanness just to put the man in place.’
      • ‘Too bad his son inherited his mother's virtues of pettiness and badger-like meanness.’
      • ‘Don't get me wrong; there are some good times, but the meanness tells me I should get away from him.’
      • ‘I want to show the level of meanness people are capable of.’
      • ‘Gradually, his neighbors become increasingly hostile and the small talk takes on an undercurrent of meanness.’
      • ‘He chuckled at that bit of nonsense, and said, "You don't think what she's done to you merits a little meanness?"’
      • ‘And yet she couldn't remember one time when he had aimed that crankiness or meanness at her.’
      • ‘Certain jobs almost call for meanness: prison guard, Marine drill sergeant, movie reviewer.’
      • ‘I say this not out of hatred or meanness.’
      • ‘He just seems to bring out the meanness in them.’
      • ‘Unable to find the meanness in themselves to give it zero stars, movie critics cling to the illusion that there must be something good about it.’
      • ‘Pure meanness is highly valued in Caesar's legions.’
      • ‘She said this without a hint of meanness, without the slightest sarcasm.’
      • ‘I was looking forward to seeing him go after these two nasty gals in a free-for-all of meanness.’
      • ‘The Islanders have added enough grit and meanness to make them a formidably physical opponent.’
  • 3Lack of quality or attractiveness; shabbiness.

    ‘the meanness of that existence’
    • ‘Even in her shock, she was appalled by the meanness of the men's living conditions.’
    • ‘She struggles with the poverty and meanness of her surroundings to keep herself and her family 'respectable' and is determined that her boys will not become miners.’
    • ‘In Iraq, the distinction between wheaten and barley bread is identical to that in Europe: it is synonymous with poverty or meanness.’
    squalor, squalidness, shabbiness, dilapidation, sordidness, seediness, sleaziness, insalubriousness, wretchedness, dismalness, dinginess, poverty
    View synonyms

Pronunciation

meanness

/ˈmiːnnəs/