Meaning of MEDIUM in English


I. ˈmēdēəm noun

( plural mediums -dēəmz ; or me·dia -dēə)

Etymology: Latin, from neuter of medius middle — more at mid

1. : something lying in a middle or intermediate position: as

a. : a middle way : compromise

try for the happy medium

b. archaic : a mathematical mean

c. : the average, usual, or common condition or amount

will be leveled off to a peacetime medium somewhere between its present employment of 7000 and its pre-Korean War level of 2500 — Springfield (Massachusetts) Daily News

2. archaic : the middle term of a syllogism

3. : something through or by which something is accomplished, conveyed, or carried on: as

a. : a substance (as air or ether) regarded as the means of transmission of a force or effect

air is the medium that conveys sound

b. : a condition, atmosphere, or environment in which something may function or flourish

a more finely perfected medium in which … feelings are at liberty — T.S.Eliot

c. : an intermediate or direct instrumentality or means

affirmed that the historic church was the medium of a continuous revelation — Stringfellow Barr

cattlemen seeking a medium to combat horse thieves — R.A.Billington

especially : a channel, method, or system of communication, information, or entertainment

a book needs the widest possible discussion in the reviewing media of the country — whether magazine, newspaper, radio, television, or public platform — Saturday Review

d. media plural but sometimes singular in construction : a vehicle (as a radio or television program or a newspaper) used to carry advertising


a. : a proper setting or natural environment

factors involved that make this slightly contaminated water better for young goldfish than a clean medium — W.C.Allee

b. : an appropriate occupation or means of expression : an activity or field in which one is at home : métier

the work of extraction and arrangement was the true medium of the monastic scholars — R.W.Southern

5. : a person through whom a purpose is accomplished : go-between , agent , intermediary

the medium of introduction was no doubt … the publisher — Richard Garnett †1906

6. : medium of exchange

7. plural mediums : an individual through whom other persons seek to communicate with the spirits of the dead and who is held by such persons to be a channel of communication between the earthly world of the living and a nontemporal spiritual realm of the departed — compare automatist 2b, spiritualism

8. plural media

a. : any nutrient system for the artificial cultivation of bacteria or other organisms or cells that is sometimes a simple substance but more commonly a complex of inorganic and organic materials in a fluid base or one rendered more or less solid by coagulation or by the addition of gelatin or agar — called also nutrient medium

b. : any of many fluids or solids in which organic structures are placed (as for preservation or mounting)


a. : the material or technical means for artistic expression (as paint and canvas, lithographic or sculptural stone, or literary or musical form)

one can't have imagination until one has a medium by which it can be expressed — J.D.Cook

as his literary medium he has chosen a biographical form which I have ventured to describe elsewhere as that of the walkie-talkie — Ernest Newman

b. : a liquid (as oil or water) with which pigment is mixed by a painter

10. : a size of paper usually 23×18 in. or 22×17 1/2 in.

11. : a varnish spread upon the surface or back of a photographic negative before retouching or upon the surface of a print before oil coloring

12. : a color filter used in theatrical stage lighting

13. : a material (as paper, cloth, or activated carbon) on which solids are deposited in chemical filtration

Synonyms: see mean

II. adjective

: intermediate in amount, quality, position, or degree : average , mean

taxation reform helpful to the low and medium income groups followed — Collier's Year Book

a man of medium height

bake in a medium oven

the only car in the medium field — advt

III. noun

1. : the tenuous material (as gas and dust) in space that exists outside large agglomerations of matter (as stars)

interstellar medium

2. : something (as a magnetic disk) on which information may be stored

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.