verb (used with object)
- to gather slowly and laboriously, bit by bit.
- to gather (grain or the like) after the reapers or regular gatherers.
- to learn, discover, or find out, usually little by little or slowly.
verb (used without object)
- to collect or gather anything little by little or slowly.
- to gather what is left by reapers.
- to gather (something) slowly and carefully in small piecesto glean information from the newspapers
- to gather (the useful remnants of a crop) from the field after harvesting
early 14c., from Old French glener (Modern French glaner) “to glean,” from Late Latin glennare “make a collection,” perhaps from Gaulish (cf. Old Irish do-glinn “he collects, gathers,” Celt. glan “clean, pure”). Figurative sense was earlier in English than the literal one of “gather grain left by the reapers” (late 14c.). Related: Gleaned; gleaning.