Depending on its position in a sentence or cluster thereof, a clarifying statement, a conversational stall, or a slightly apologetic amplifier. Rarely used in formal written communication, but common as a conversational particle in early 21st-century American English.
1. "That movie sucks! I mean, the FX were okay but the story was shit!"

Here, "I mean" is used to introduce a following clause which modifies the prior one. This usually has the effect of altering a very strong and general statement to instead reflect a specific contention.

2. "What's your favorite movie?"
"Hmm... I mean... I like Mission Impossible, but I also love Die Hard."

Here "I mean" covers the speaker's thought process and indicates that conflicting ideas are being weighed in the speaker's mind. It indicates that an answer has not yet been formulated, but does not invite the other speaker to continue talking.

3. "Man, that song is really great!"

"I mean, if you hate music."

Here "I mean" is used to indicate that the speaker has briefly thought of a more polite way to indicate the statement but can only express it in a blunt or sarcastic fashion. "I mean" only starts a statement of this nature if it is in response to someone else's statement, though it can be used in both to agree and disagree with said statement.
by Ian J Slinger August 14, 2011
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Used to emphasize someone else's point, even though it sounds like you are talking about something you just said.

See also: I know, right?, seriously
Bob: These guys are just terrible at basketball!

Arthur: I mean, they look like they've never played before!

Randy: I could really go for some Fuji Chen right now.

Derrick: Oh god. I mean, some Sesame Chicken would really hit the spot right now. Mmm.
by crazyleftshoe June 18, 2011
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An immediate response to a stupid question, or question with a next-to-obvious answer. The placeholder is supposed to be used by itself, with the "..." implying a period of silent waiting for the question asker to re-contemplate the stupidity of his/her question and/or understand that the person that he/she is asking the question to is of superior caliber and need not waste time answering this goddam stupid question. In fact, "I mean..." need not be used after a question. A cocky fucker can just use it all the time, and not have to say anything else!
When that one slut asked DDB if he had the time, he quickly gave her that look and said, "I mean..." since a) DDB obviously doesn't have the time for some stupid slut, not to mention anyone really, and b) if she was asking for the clock time, why should he answer that when she can just look up at the sun's position in the sky, and if its night she can just wait a couple of hours, and if she's blind then why the fuck does she need to know the time anyway, I mean...
by nesia November 25, 2005
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Meaningless American use of the English language. Often reflective of a complete lack of content in what they are saying - people of average intellect, articulation and education will simply pause and think about what they are saying. Probably due to American television with programs such as “Clueless”, “Legally Blonde” and “the OC”, which depict successful people as not requiring any form of intelligence or decent command of the English language. In real life, these people look stupid, act stupid, and everyone thinks they are stupid. Typically, they fail intelligence tests.
“He was like…I mean…like….like…I mean…totally….like…totally…couldn’t even speak american properly…like…I mean…”

“I mean…like…one day…like…I will be the most successful…like…lawyer or teacher…like…I mean….just like in that movie…like…I better buy some pink clothes...i mean”
by UnCo May 18, 2005
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Statement, used to insist on whatever said before by the same person. That it wasn't a joke or unimportant, but that it was exactly what it meant, and it's essential.
-Now, please don't ever bring up that around my parents.
-Yeah, like they would even care.
-Hey, i mean it!
by anohum June 17, 2018
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when you say something then you take it back and act like you didnt say anything
"hey your sisters got a nice rack...i mean"
by Mike Canale January 12, 2004
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- a statement used to signify the importance or relevance of a situation or event. (similar to the phrase, "word")
josh - These cheeseburgers are really good.

anthony - I mean!!!
by Bryan Jones May 21, 2007
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