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MEAN, as an adjective can describe someone who's stingy, tight, miserly, ungenerous, unwilling to spend, etc. This usage is chiefly British.

"He's too mean to buy her a ring."
"Marsha has always been mean with her money."

The usual AmE word for that kind of person would be CHEAP. 

"My boyfriend continues to shock me with just how cheap he is."
"Oh, please, Dad, just this once don't be cheap."

MEAN, in the US, usually describes someone or something that is unkind, inconsiderate, selfish, cruel, cold-hearted, spiteful, hurtful, malicious, etc.

"She just said it to be mean."
"It's mean of you to ignore her."

This definition developed from the original use of 'mean' meaning 'humble, ordinary, or inferior' which finally became the common 'unkind' definition of today. 

"His mother did not say this in a mean way." [Ernest Hemingway, Soldier’s Home, 1925]

This use of 'mean' has since become so widespread in AmE that the speakers usually find other uses to seem unusual or archaic—or misunderstand what authors from earlier centuries intended.

"It's so mean of you to tease the child until she cries!"

A mean person can be unkind either in general, or toward someone in particular, like this kid who constantly bullies another kid, causing them pain and suffering for the sheer enjoyment of it. 

"A mean person is someone who is notoriously ill-tempered, disagreeable, difficult and troublesome."

Being MEAN TO SOMEONE means treating them in unkind or unfair way. It is what a little kid intends to convey when she yells at her mother, "You're mean!" 

"Stop being so mean to me!"

TO HAVE A MEAN STREAK means to be typically mean.

"Do you think great leaders must have a mean streak to succeed?"

Interestingly, MEAN can also be used informally to describe something that causes tremendous impact because it is so out of the ordinary. It can mean: 

1. exceptionally good, excellent, really cool; fresh, off the chain, etc.

"Brah, her walk is so mean."
"That girl right there is lookin' hella mean."

2. remarkably skillful; accomplished with great skill; deft; hard to compete with. Typically said about people who are amazing at playing a game, sport, musical instrument, etc.

"She plays a mean game of tennis."
"Make no mistake about it, this guy plays a mean bass clarinet."

It can also be something that you can cook so well, you can brag about it.

"My Mama makes a mean turkey sandwich!"
"I don't mean to brag but I can mix a mean cocktail."

3. hardcore or vigorous.

"Damn, that was a mean workout."
"Those are some mean snow trekker boots!"

4. strong and violent; frightening.

"He's a big mean guy."
"There was this really ugly mean dog that lived there."

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