Meaning of MIDDLE in English


I. mid ‧ dle 1 S1 W2 /ˈmɪdl/ BrE AmE noun

1 . CENTRE PART the middle the part that is nearest the centre of something, and furthest from the sides, edges, top, bottom etc

the middle of

We rowed out towards the middle of the lake.

in the middle (of something)

Jo was standing in the middle of the room.

Those are my two brothers, and that’s me in the middle.

The meat was burnt on the outside and raw in the middle.

a huge hole right in the middle of the lawn

through the middle (of something)

The new road will go right through the middle of the wood.

down the middle (of something)

Draw a line down the middle of the page.

2 . TIME/EVENT the middle the part of an event or period of time that is between the beginning and the end

the middle of

events which took place around the middle of the last century

in the middle (of something)

I’m going to stay with some friends in the middle of May.

He gets killed in the middle of the film.

the middle of the night/day

I got a phone call from her in the middle of the night!

the middle of the week/month/year etc

Everything should be sorted out by the middle of next year.

3 . SCALE/RANGE the middle the level or position that is between two extreme positions, for example between the best and the worst:

There are plenty of small houses for sale, and quite a lot of very large ones, but very little in the middle.

the middle of

In tests, I always seem to finish around the middle of the class.

4 . BODY [countable usually singular] the part of your body around your waist and stomach

sb’s middle

He was holding a towel around his middle.

5 . be in the middle of (doing) something to be busy doing something:

Can I call you back – I’m in the middle of a meeting.

I was in the middle of sorting some papers when the phone rang.

6 . in the middle of something if you are in the middle of something, it is happening to you or around you:

At that time Britain was in the middle of a recession.

The company is in the middle of a takeover battle.

7 . in the middle of nowhere a long way from the nearest big town:

They live miles away, in the middle of nowhere.

8 . divide/split something down the middle to divide something into equal halves or groups:

We put all the money together and then split it down the middle.

The voters are split down the middle on this issue.

⇨ piggy in the middle at ↑ piggy 1 (2)

II. middle 2 S1 W2 BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: middel ]

1 . CENTRE nearest the centre and furthest from the edge, top, end etc:

driving in the middle lane of the motorway

the middle drawer of the filing cabinet

2 . TIME/EVENT half of the way through an event or period of time:

They spent the middle part of their vacation in Florida.

the middle part of the day

3 . SCALE/RANGE between two extreme levels or positions, for example between the best and worst, the biggest and smallest etc:

a car in the middle price range

the middle ranks of the army

a middle-income family

4 . in your middle twenties/thirties etc about 25, 35 etc years old

5 . middle brother/child/daughter etc the brother etc who is between the oldest and the youngest

6 . middle course/way etc a way of dealing with something that is between two opposite and often extreme ways

middle course/way etc between

The party is seeking to find a middle way between extreme right-wing and left-wing policies.

I try to steer a middle course between keeping control of the project and giving responsibility to others.

7 . Middle English/French etc an old form of English, French etc, used in the Middle Ages (=between 1100 and 1500 AD)

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.