- The definition of glean is to obtain information or to collect grain left behind after harvesting.
- An example of glean is when you ask questions to try to find out information.
- An example of glean is when you collect the grain remaining in the field after the reapers have finished harvesting the field.
- to collect (grain, etc. left by reapers)
- to collect the remaining grain, etc. from (a reaped field)
- to collect or find out (facts, etc.) gradually or bit by bit
- to examine or go through (books, etc.) so as to collect certain information
Origin of gleanMiddle English glenen ; from Old French glener ; from Vulgar Latin glennare ; from Celtic as in Old Irish dīgleinn, he gleans ; from Indo-European an unverified form ĝhlend- ; from base an unverified form ĝhel-: see gleam
verbgleaned, glean·ing, gleans
- To gather (grain) left behind by reapers.
- To collect bit by bit: “records from which historians glean their knowledge” (Kemp Malone). See Synonyms at reap.
Origin of gleanMiddle English glenen, from Old French glener, from Late Latin glennāre, probably of Celtic origin.
(third-person singular simple present gleans, present participle gleaning, simple past and past participle gleaned)
- To collect (grain, grapes, etc.) left behind after the main harvest or gathering.
- To gather what is left in (a field or vineyard).
- to glean a field
- To gather information in small amounts, with implied difficulty, bit by bit.
- To frugally accumulate resources from low-yield contexts.
- He gleaned a living from newspaper work for a few months, but in the summer went to a fishing village […] where […] he wrote his great historical drama, "Master Olof." (Translators Edith and Warner Oland on author August Strindberg.)
- A collection made by gleaning.
- (obsolete) cleaning; afterbirth