intermediary

noun
in·​ter·​me·​di·​ary | \ ˌin-tər-ˈmē-dē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce intermediary (audio) \
plural intermediaries

Definition of intermediary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : an intermediate form, product, or stage

intermediary

adjective

Definition of intermediary (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : acting as a mediator an intermediary agent an intermediary particle

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Did You Know?

Since inter- means "between, among", an intermediary is someone who moves back and forth in the middle area between two sides—a "go-between". Mediator (which shares the medi- root) is often a synonym, and so is facilitator; broker and agent are often others. Thus, a real-estate broker or agent shuttles between a house's buyer and seller, who may never even meet each other. Financial intermediation is what happens when you put money in a bank or investment firm, which then invests it in various companies; if you want, you can instead cut out the intermediary and invest the money directly in companies of your own choosing.

Examples of intermediary in a Sentence

Noun He served as an intermediary between the workers and the executives. in the past he's served as an intermediary in several hostage situations Adjective the bridal couple were regally ensconced in intermediary seats at the head table
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Defense Department has awarded more than $6 billion in Operation Warp Speed contracts through an intermediary, Advanced Technology International, and the two senators want more information about those contracts. Patricia Kime, USA TODAY, "Why the VA is recruiting 8,000 volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trials," 9 Nov. 2020 Ant Group began as the escrow service for Alibaba, an intermediary that shuttled funds from online shoppers to product vendors. Eva Dou, Washington Post, "World’s largest IPO shows power of mobile payments in China," 27 Oct. 2020 Cryptocurrency advocates said the ability to conduct peer-to-peer transactions without an intermediary is essential to the assets’ appeal. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Some Cryptocurrency Trader Disclosure Required in Proposed Rules," 19 Dec. 2020 Newton held religious beliefs that were at odds with mainstream Christianity, dismissing the Holy Trinity and instead viewing Jesus Christ as an intermediary between God and humanity. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Isaac Newton Thought the Great Pyramid Held the Key to the Apocalypse," 8 Dec. 2020 Sheikh Sabah cultivated an aura of neutrality to position Kuwait as a reliable intermediary in some of the region’s most intractable conflicts. Stephen Kalin, WSJ, "Kuwait’s Emir, a Giant of Arab Diplomacy, Dies at 91," 29 Sep. 2020 Often, the detective, hired by a law firm or some other intermediary, does not even know who the client is. Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, "Why Private Eyes Are Everywhere Now," 28 Sep. 2020 With the help of Fazeli and another intermediary, Clark allegedly charged thousands of dollars for direct access to accounts. Nicholas Thompson, Wired, "How Twitter Survived Its Biggest Hack—and Plans to Stop the Next One," 24 Sep. 2020 Federal officials allege that Giusti used nonprofits like the Lefty O’Doul’s Foundation as an intermediary to funnel money from Recology to Nuru and Public Works. Michael Williams, SFChronicle.com, "Ex-Recology exec accused of funneling $1 million in bribes to Mohammed Nuru," 18 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Some of the most pernicious human diseases have originated in animals, including the new coronavirus, which is believed to have spread from bats to an intermediary species before jumping to humans and sparking the pandemic. Jonel Aleccia, Quartz, "Black-footed ferrets are getting their own Covid-19 vaccine," 23 Dec. 2020 Some of the most pernicious human diseases have originated in animals, including the new coronavirus, which is believed to have spread from bats to an intermediary species before jumping to humans and sparking the pandemic. Jonel Aleccia, CNN, "Highly endangered black-footed ferrets get experimental Covid-19 vaccine," 23 Dec. 2020 User’s privacy is compromised by this procedure since a log of all clicks is being sent to these third party intermediary websites. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Up to 3 million devices infected by malware-laced Chrome and Edge add-ons," 16 Dec. 2020 Executives also began to see that shipping intermediary products halfway around the world and often back again was wasteful and no longer productive. Scott Davis, WSJ, "U.S. Manufacturing: Why 2020 Was the Bottom of a Long Decline," 15 Dec. 2020 At the same time, this intermediary step indicates monarch protection is serious, while giving stakeholders time to develop voluntary plans, Stotz said. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "Federal officials say monarch butterflies need protection under the Endangered Species Act, but they won’t get it this year," 15 Dec. 2020 The other company with a vaccine pending at the FDA, Moderna, uses an intermediary distributor, McKesson, to deliver its product. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Nov. 27-Dec. 3," 4 Dec. 2020 Some individuals trap, deal, or raise animals that might serve as intermediary hosts. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, "Nine Days in Wuhan, the Ground Zero of the Coronavirus Pandemic," 5 Oct. 2020 Truck farming became an intermediary phase in the transformation of greater New Orleans’ landscape, after the plantation era and before modern suburbanization. Richard Campanella, NOLA.com, "Now forgotten, New Orleans was once dotted with 'truck farms' as city grew," 1 Oct. 2020

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

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First Known Use of intermediary

Noun

1791, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for intermediary

Time Traveler

The first known use of intermediary was in 1777

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Statistics for intermediary

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intermediary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intermediary. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for intermediary

intermediary

noun
How to pronounce intermediary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of intermediary

: a person who works with opposing sides in an argument or dispute in order to bring about an agreement

intermediary

noun
in·​ter·​me·​di·​ary | \ ˌin-tər-ˈmē-dē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce intermediary (audio) \
plural intermediaries

Kids Definition of intermediary

intermediary

noun
in·​ter·​me·​di·​ary | \ ˌint-ər-ˈmēd-ē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce intermediary (audio) \
plural intermediaries

Medical Definition of intermediary

2 : an intermediate form, product, or stage

Other Words from intermediary

intermediary adjective

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intermediary

noun
in·​ter·​me·​di·​ary | \ ˌin-tər-ˈmē-dē-ˌer-ē \
plural intermediaries

Legal Definition of intermediary

: one that acts as a means or go-between in a matter involving other parties a reinsurance intermediary — see also learned intermediary

Other Words from intermediary

intermediary adjective

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Comments on intermediary

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