• enPR: mē'diəm, IPA: /ˈmiːdɪəm/

medium (plural media)

  1. (plural media or mediums) The chemistry of the surrounding environment, e.g. solid, liquid, gas, vacuum, or a specific substance such as a solvent.
  2. (plural media or mediums) The materials or empty space through which signals, waves or forces pass.
    • 1626, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum: or A Naturall Historie, London: William Lee, III. Century, p. 60,
      Whether any other Liquours, being made Mediums, cause a Diuersity of Sound from Water, it may be tried:
    • 1642, John Denham (poet), The Sophy, London: Thomas Walkley, Act II, Scene 1, p. 12,
      He’s old and jealous, apt for suspitions, gainst which tyrants ears
      Are never clos’d. The Prince is young,
      Fierce, and ambitious, I must bring together
      All these extreames, and then remove all Mediums,
      That each may be the others object.
  3. (plural media or mediums) A format for communicating or presenting information.
  4. (plural media or mediums, engineering) The materials used to finish a workpiece using a mass finishing or abrasive blasting process.
  5. (plural media or mediums, microbiology) A nutrient solution for the growth of cells in vitro.
    • 1996, Samuel Baron (editor), Medical Microbiology:
      In some instances one can take advantage of differential carbohydrate fermentation capabilities of microorganisms by incorporating one or more carbohydrates in the medium along with a suitable pH indicator. Such media are called differential media (e.g., eosin methylene blue or MacConkey agar) and are commonly used to isolate enteric bacilli.
  6. (plural media or mediums) The means, channel, or agency by which an aim is achieved.
  7. (plural mediums or media) A liquid base which carries pigment in paint.
  8. (plural mediums or media, painting) A tool used for painting or drawing.
    Acrylics, oils, charcoal, and gouache are all mediums I used in my painting.
  9. (plural mediums, spiritualism) Someone who supposedly conveys information from the spirit world.
  10. (plural mediums) Anything having a measurement intermediate between extremes, such as a garment or container.
  11. (plural mediums) A person whom garments or apparel of intermediate size fit.
  12. (plural mediums, Ireland, dated, informal) A half-pint serving of Guinness (or other stout in some regions).
  13. A middle place or degree.
    a happy medium
    • 1692, Roger L'Estrange, Fables of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists with Morals and Reflexions, London: R. Sare et al., Fable 215. An Oak and a Willow, Reflexion, p. 188,
      […] the Just Medium of This Case lies betwixt the Pride, and the Abjection of the Two Extreams.
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma (novel), London: John Murray, Volume 2, Chapter 2, p. 29,
      Her height was pretty […] her figure particularly graceful; her size a most becoming medium, between fat and thin […]
    • 1850, Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, London: Bradbury & Evans, Chapter 44, p. 453,
      In search of the principle on which joints ought to be roasted, to be roasted enough, and not too much, I myself referred to the Cookery Book […] . But the principle always failed us by some curious fatality, and we never could hit any medium between redness and cinders.
  14. (dated) An average; sometimes the mathematical mean.
    • 1769, Edmund Burke, Observations on a Late State of the Nation, London: J. Dodsley, p. 13,
      a medium of six years of war, and six years of peace
  15. (logic) The mean or middle term of a syllogism, that by which the extremes are brought into connection.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: носи́тель
Translations Translations Translations Adjective

medium (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Arithmetically average.
  2. Of intermediate size, degree, amount etc.
  3. Of meat, cooked to a point greater than rare but less than well done; typically, so the meat is still red in the centre.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Adverb


  1. to a medium extent

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