Monday, October 8, 2007

mean or median?

What's the difference between mean and median?

mean (mēn) v., meant (mĕnt), mean·ing, means.

[transitive verb]
1. To be used to convey; denote: “‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things’” (Lewis Carroll).
2. To act as a symbol of; signify or represent: In this poem, the budding flower means youth.
3. To intend to convey or indicate: “No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous” (Henry Adams).
4. To have as a purpose or an intention; intend: I meant to go running this morning, but I overslept.
5. To design, intend, or destine for a certain purpose or end: a building that was meant for storage; a student who was meant to be a scientist.
6. To have as a consequence; bring about: Friction means heat.
7. To have the importance or value of: The opinions of the critics meant nothing to him. She meant so much to me.v.intr.

[intransitive verb]
To have intentions of a specified kind; be disposed: They mean well but lack tact.

mean business
To be in earnest.
[Middle English menen, from Old English mǣnan, to tell of.]

mean (mēn) adj., mean·er, mean·est.
1. Selfish in a petty way; unkind.
2. Cruel, spiteful, or malicious.
3. Ignoble; base: a mean motive.
4. Miserly; stingy.
5. Low in quality or grade; inferior.
6. Low in value or amount; paltry: paid no mean amount for the new shoes.
7. Common or poor in appearance; shabby: “The rowhouses had been darkened by the rain and looked meaner and grimmer than ever” (Anne Tyler).
8. Low in social status; of humble origins.
9. Humiliated or ashamed.
10. In poor physical condition; sick or debilitated.
11. Extremely unpleasant or disagreeable: The meanest storm in years.
Informal. Ill-tempered.

1. Hard to cope with; difficult or troublesome: He throws a mean fast ball.
2. Excellent; skillful: She plays a mean game of bridge.
[Middle English, from Old English gemǣne, common.]
SYNONYMS mean, low, base, abject, ignoble, sordid. These adjectives mean lacking in dignity or falling short of the standards befitting humans. Mean suggests pettiness, spite, or niggardliness: “Never ascribe to an opponent motives meaner than your own” (J.M. Barrie). Something low violates standards of morality, ethics, or propriety: low cunning; a low trick. Base suggests a contemptible, mean-spirited, or selfish lack of human decency: “that liberal obedience, without which your army would be a base rabble” (Edmund Burke). Abject means brought low in condition: abject submission; abject poverty. Ignoble means lacking noble qualities, such as elevated moral character: “For my part I think it a less evil that some criminals should escape than that the government should play an ignoble part” (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.). Sordid suggests foul, repulsive degradation: “It is through art . . . that we can shield ourselves from the sordid perils of actual existence” (Oscar Wilde).

mean (mēn) n.
1. Something having a position, quality, or condition midway between extremes; a medium.
2. Mathematics.
3. A number that typifies a set of numbers, such as a geometric mean or an arithmetic mean.
4. The average value of a set of numbers.
5. Logic. The middle term in a syllogism.
means (used with a sing. or pl. verb) A method, a course of action, or an instrument by which an act can be accomplished or an end achieved.
means (used with a pl. verb)
6. Money, property, or other wealth: You ought to live within your means.
Great wealth: a woman of means.adj.
Occupying a middle or intermediate position between two extremes.
Intermediate in size, extent, quality, time, or degree; medium.idioms:
by all means
Without fail; any means
In any way possible; to any extent: not by any means an easy means of
With the use of; owing to: They succeeded by means of patience and no means
In no sense; certainly not: This remark by no means should be taken lightly

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