lean 1 (lēn)
v. leaned, lean·ing, leans
1. To bend or slant away from the vertical.
2. To incline the weight of the body so as to be supported: leaning against the doorpost. See Synonyms at slant.
3. To rely for assistance or support: Lean on me for help.
4. To have a tendency or preference: a government that leans toward fascism.
5. Informal To exert pressure: The boss is leaning on us to meet the deadline.
1. To set or place so as to be resting or supported: leaned the ladder against the wall.
2. To cause to incline: leaned the boards so the rain would run off.
A tilt or an inclination away from the vertical.
[Middle English lenen, from Old English hleonian; see klei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.