in medias res

in me·​di·​as res | \ in-ˈme-dē-əs-ˈrās How to pronounce in medias res (audio) , -ˈmē-dē-əs-ˈrēz How to pronounce in medias res (audio) \

Definition of in medias res

: in or into the middle of a narrative or plot

Examples of in medias res in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This poem by Lyudmyla Khersonsky begins in medias res with a dead body rather than the death itself, followed by a pile of urgent questions. New York Times, 20 May 2022 The film opens in medias res, with lifelong best friends Kevin (Abbott) and Val (Carmichael) about to shoot each other in the head outside of a strip club at 10 in the morning. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 The new Kurt Vile album begins, like many great yarns, in medias res. Simon Vozick-levinson, Rolling Stone, 13 Apr. 2022 Douglas-Fairhurst’s biography, stuffed with a curiosity shop’s worth of literary gossip and Victoriana, begins with the author in medias res. Charlie Tyson, The Atlantic, 15 Mar. 2022 The technique, which later won Dubochet and his collaborators a Nobel Prize, transforms water molecules into glasslike ice, in effect stopping life in medias res. James Somers, The New Yorker, 28 Feb. 2022 The book begins in medias res, tossing the reader into the postwar mêlée of a rapidly shapeshifting New York. Jamie Hood, Vulture, 15 Dec. 2021 Yes, most shows that begin in medias res and then jump back are incredibly annoying. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 19 Oct. 2021 Doerr likes to start in medias res, and then to go back to the origins of his stories and work forward again (or forward and backward and forward again, in alternation). James Wood, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'in medias res.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of in medias res

1786, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for in medias res

Latin, literally, into the midst of things

Learn More About in medias res

Time Traveler for in medias res

Time Traveler

The first known use of in medias res was in 1786

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near in medias res


in medias res

in medio tutissimus ibis

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for in medias res

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“In medias res.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on in medias res Encyclopedia article about in medias res


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!