1. That part of flesh which consist principally of muscle without the fat. The fat was so white and the lean was so ruddy. (Goldsmith)
2. Unremunerative copy or work.
1. Wanting flesh; destitute of or deficient in fat; not plump; meager; thin; lank; as, a lean body; a lean cattle.
2. Wanting fullness, richness, sufficiency, or productiveness; deficient in quality or contents; slender; scant; barren; bare; mean; used literally and figuratively; as, the lean harvest; a lean purse; a lean discourse; lean wages. No lean wardrobe. Their lean and fiashy songs. (Milton) What the land is, whether it be fat or lean. (Num. Xiii. 20) Out of my lean and low ability ill lend you something. (Shak)
3. Of a character which prevents the compositor from earning the usual wages; opposed to fat; as lean copy, matter, or type.
Synonym: slender, spare, thin, meager, lank, skinny, gaunt.
Origin: oe. Lene, as. Hlne; prob. Akin to E. Lean to incline. See lean.