Meaning of MIDDLE in English


I. ˈmid ə l adjective

Etymology: Middle English middel, from Old English; akin to Old Frisian middel middle, Old Saxon middil, Old High German mittil middle, Old Norse methal among, between, Old English midde mid — more at mid


a. : equally distant (as reckoned by number, space, or other particular) from the extremes : mean

lived in the middle house in a row

a middle rank in life

the middle portion

b. : halfway between the bid and asked prices

the middle price

87 middle

— used of prices on the London stock exchange

2. archaic : constituting or occupying the middle

through middle empire of the freezing air — John Milton


a. : being at neither extreme : intermediate , intervening

filled up the middle space

of middle size

a middle opinion

a middle line of action

b. archaic : acting as an intermediary

4. : of middle size or volume — now used only of wool of medium-length staple

5. archaic : being the middle part : mid 1


a. often capitalized : constituting a division intermediate between those prior and later or upper and lower

the middle ages

Middle Jurassic

Middle Paleozoic

b. usually capitalized : constituting a period of a language or literature that is intermediate between a period called Old and a period called New or Modern

middle English

middle High German

c. of management : responsible for the administration and supervision of policies and practices — distinguished from top

7. of a verb form or voice : typically asserting that the person or thing represented by the grammatical subject both performs and is subjected to or affected by the action represented by the verb

Greek louomai “I wash myself” is in the middle voice

— used especially in the grammar of Greek and Sanskrit; compare active

8. of a mute in ancient Greek : medial

9. usually capitalized : of or relating to the earliest known culture of Mexico

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English middel, from Old English, from middel, adjective


a. : a portion or part separated by equal or approximately equal substantial distances from the ends or the opposite sides (as of a line, surface, solid) or from the limits of anything regarded as extending between two extremities (as a period of time, an event, process, or condition continuing over a certain period of time, a series, or a range or compass)

the middle of the street was unpaved

apples from the middle of the barrel

rain during the middle of April

the middle of the war

a voice strong in the middle

in the middle of the social scale

the beginning, middle , and end of a list — R.S.Woodworth

b. : a midpoint (as of a line), median line (as of a surface), or median plane (as of a solid) or a point (as in time or other measurable entity) midway between two limits

a sheet of paper folded down the middle

c. : all except the two terminal segments or units of something consisting of a series of segments or units : interior

remove a link from the middle of the chain

the small circle joins easily to other consonant strokes at the beginning, in the middle , or at the end of a word — New Standard Course in Pitman Shorthand

2. : an area or space at or near the center and separated by substantial distances from the exterior limits (as of a larger area or space) : central part

a small bird … which they release … in the middle of their fields — J.G.Frazer

3. : the position of being among or surrounded by others : midst 2

4. : the mid-part of the human body : waist

5. : something intermediate between extremes

in this, as in most questions of state, there is a middle — Edmund Burke


a. : a range of points of view held or of policies advocated or practiced (as in the realm of politics) intermediate between those points of view and policies commonly regarded as reactionary and conservative and those commonly regarded as liberal and radical

b. : those persons or groups (as political parties) collectively that hold points of view or advocate or practice policies that fall in such a middle

7. : the body proper of an animal ; specifically : either of the pieces forming a dressed side between the shoulder and rump or ham

8. : the large intestine of beef used as casing for bologna

9. chiefly South : the strip or ridge of earth left between two rows of a crop (as corn or cotton) during the growing season

10. : the middle voice of a verb or a form in this voice

11. : middle term

12. : middle ground 1

13. middles plural but sometimes singular in construction : usually low-grade material forming the middle or internal layer or layers of pasteboard or combination board

14. : the guard covering the middle stump in cricket

15. Canadian football : tackle

16. : middle article

17. : middleweight

Synonyms: see center

- in the middle

- in the middle of

III. transitive verb

( middled ; middled ; middling -d( ə )liŋ ; middles )

1. : to put in the middle

2. nautical : to fold in the middle : double

middle a hawser

middle a sail

- middle of the cable

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