If you lean on something, you incline your body against it, like the way you lean against a wall while waiting in line. If you lean on a person, you rely on her for moral support, like the way you lean on your best friend when you're feeling sad or worried.

If you’re tired, lean back in your chair. If you’re broke, lean on your family for financial help. But something can lean all by itself, if it’s not standing straight. The famous Tower of Pisa leans at an angle of about 4 degrees. As an adjective, we use lean to describe something skimpy or lacking excess flesh. When you're experiencing financial difficulty, you could say you're going through lean (not prosperous) times.

Definitions of lean
  1. verb
    incline or bend from a vertical position
    “She leaned over the banister”
    synonyms: angle, slant, tilt, tip
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    incline, pitch, slope
    be at an angle
    cause to slope
    heel, list
    tilt to one side
    lean back, recline
    move the upper body backwards and down
    slope upwards
    sag, bend, bend over or down
    slope downward
    slope upward
    slope downwards
    fall back
    fall backwards and down
    type of:
    bend, flex
    form a curve
  2. verb
    cause to lean or incline
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    type of:
    lay, place, pose, position, put, set
    put into a certain place or abstract location
  3. verb
    cause to lean to the side
    synonyms: list
    heel, list
    tilt to one side
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    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  4. noun
    the property possessed by a line or surface that departs from the vertical
    synonyms: inclination, leaning, list, tilt
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    type of:
    position, spatial relation
    the spatial property of a place where or way in which something is situated
  5. verb
    have a tendency or disposition to do or be something; be inclined
    synonyms: be given, incline, run, tend
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    take kindly to
    be willing or inclined to accept
    be given to
    move toward
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  6. verb
    rely on for support
    “We can lean on this man”
    synonyms: rely
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    type of:
    bank, rely, swear, trust
    have confidence or faith in
  7. adjective
    containing little excess
    “a lean budget”
    synonyms: skimpy
    deficient, insufficient
    of a quantity not able to fulfill a need or requirement
  8. adjective
    lacking excess flesh
    “"Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look"-Shakespeare”
    synonyms: thin
    having a build with little fat or muscle but with long limbs
    anorectic, anorexic
    suffering from anorexia nervosa; pathologically thin
    bony, cadaverous, emaciated, gaunt, haggard, pinched, skeletal, wasted
    very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
    deep-eyed, hollow-eyed, sunken-eyed
    characteristic of the bony face of a cadaver
    gangling, gangly, lanky
    tall and thin
    lank, spindly
    long and lean
    having a lean and bony physique
    reedlike, reedy
    resembling a reed in being upright and slender
    twiggy, twiglike
    thin as a twig
    resembling a scarecrow in being thin and ragged
    boney, scraggy, scrawny, skinny, underweight, weedy
    being very thin
    shriveled, shrivelled, shrunken, withered, wizen, wizened
    lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness
    slender, slight, slim, svelte
    being of delicate or slender build
    slender-waisted, slim-waisted, wasp-waisted
    having a small waist
    spare, trim
    thin and fit
    spindle-legged, spindle-shanked
    having long slender legs
    stringy, wiry
    lean and sinewy
    wisplike, wispy
    thin and weak
    of relatively small extent from one surface to the opposite or in cross section
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    having an (over)abundance of flesh
    endomorphic, pyknic
    having a squat and fleshy build
    abdominous, paunchy, potbellied
    having a large belly
    swollen with fat
    chubby, embonpoint, plump
    sufficiently fat so as to have a pleasing fullness of figure
    buxom, zaftig, zoftig
    (of a female body) healthily plump and vigorous
    corpulent, obese, rotund, weighty
    excessively fat
    double-chinned, jowly, loose-jowled
    having sagging folds of flesh beneath the chin or lower jaw
    dumpy, podgy, pudgy, roly-poly, tubby
    short and plump
    somewhat fat
    fleshy, heavy, overweight
    usually describes a large person who is fat but has a large frame to carry it
    gross, porcine
    repellently fat
    portly, stout
    euphemisms for `fat'
    curving and somewhat round in shape rather than jagged
    not thin; of a specific thickness or of relatively great extent from one surface to the opposite usually in the smallest of the three solid dimensions
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  9. adjective
    not profitable or prosperous
    “a lean year”
    producing little or no profit or gain
  10. adjective
    lacking in mineral content or combustible material
    lean ore”
    lean fuel”
    see moresee less
    high in mineral content; having a high proportion of fuel to air
Word Family

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