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Alternative formsEdit


Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English hene, from Old English hēan (lowly, despised, poor, mean, bare, abject), from Proto-Germanic *hauniz (low, lowly), from Proto-Indo-European *kaw- (to degrade, humiliate). Cognate with German höhn (jeering, demeaning, bad), Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌿𐌽𐍃 (hauns, contemptible, base, humble), Dutch hoon (scorn, insult), Latvian kauns (shame, disgrace, dishonour), Ancient Greek καυνός (kaunós, bad).


hean (comparative more hean, superlative most hean)

  1. (obsolete) Mean; abject; poor; humble; lowly.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English henen, from Old English hīenan (to fell, prostrate, overcome, weaken, crush, afflict, injure, oppress, abase, humble, insult, accuse, condemn), from Proto-Germanic *haunijaną (to humiliate), from Proto-Indo-European *kaw- (to degrade, humiliate). Cognate with North Frisian huynjen (to wound, abuse, hurt), German höhnen (to mock, jeer, scoff) Swedish hån (heckle, mocking).


hean (third-person singular simple present heans, present participle heaning, simple past and past participle heaned)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To treat with contumely; insult; humiliate; debase; lower.


Old EnglishEdit