intermediary

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

Definition of intermediary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

intermediary

noun
plural intermediaries

Definition of intermediary (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : an intermediate form, product, or stage

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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

Adjective

the bridal couple were regally ensconced in intermediary seats at the head table

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The New York Fed’s Fedwire system, which handles large dollar payments, was critical to the conspiracy, according to the lawsuit, allowing the money to quickly move to the intermediary banks. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "Bangladesh Bank Sues Filipino Lender in U.S. Court Over Hack Heist," 4 Feb. 2019 Piero, however, depicts the Virgin’s condition without any intermediary symbols. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "On the Brink of the Savior’s Arrival," 12 Oct. 2018 The Journal traced funds from BTC Global through intermediary wallets to ShapeShift. Shane Shifflett, WSJ, "How Dirty Money Disappears Into the Black Hole of Cryptocurrency," 28 Sep. 2018 Content curators, creatives—these and other intermediary non-roles crop up in everything from journalism to art. Katie Kosma, Longreads, "TPS Reports All Day Long," 12 June 2018 Najib was grilled last month over why an additional 42 million ringgit ($10.6 million) was transferred into his bank account from SRC International, a former unit of the 1MDB fund, using multiple intermediary companies. Washington Post, "Wife of ex-Malaysia PM questioned, new graft scandal unfolds," 5 June 2018 Now imagine a future in which such contracts automate tasks once relegated to lawyers, pencil-pushers, and other intermediary parties. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Cyber Saturday—As Blockchain Week Kicks Off, Remember The DAO," 12 May 2018 Sweden has long played an intermediary role between the United States and North Korea, which do not have diplomatic relations. Gerry Mullany, New York Times, "North Korean Envoy in Sweden Amid Planning for Trump-Kim Meeting," 15 Mar. 2018 Any person or entity making an independent expenditure of more than $1,000 would have to disclose original and intermediary sources of the funding. Jerod Macdonald-evoy, azcentral, "Tempe election results roll in; incumbents show strong lead," 13 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Echoing the proverbial wisdom to cut out the middleman, the president has targeted these intermediaries. Kevin Schulman, STAT, "Mergers between health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers could be bad for your health," 1 June 2018 The Earth is seen by the author of Genesis as the intermediary creating and sustaining life, which is pretty much what science tells us too. Yonat Shimron, Houston Chronicle, "Kenneth Miller finds good news in evolution," 22 Apr. 2018 For average folks, investing in cryptocurrencies means putting your faith (and your money) in an intermediary, usually an exchange company in the form of an app like Coinbase. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "Crypto Exchange Founder's Untimely Death Leaves $190 Million Locked Away in Limbo," 4 Feb. 2019 Moon, who has staked his political future on rapprochement with Pyongyang and worked to position himself as the intermediary between Kim and Trump, convened an emergency meeting after midnight local time at the presidential Blue House. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s go-it-alone approach to foreign policy angers allies, benefits adversaries," 25 May 2018 Depending on your definition, that could mean part-time work completed in addition to a full-time job, contract employment or working full-time but through an online intermediary like Uber. Rani Molla, Recode, "The U.S. government doesn’t know how big the gig economy is," 24 July 2018 Still, Goldman fears that the 3-1-3 ruling leaves open many questions about how Section 230 should apply and how to define the role of online intermediaries like Yelp. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Yelp may have just saved the internet — but the court ruling in its favor is a dangerous muddle," 3 July 2018 The more pieces of credible evidence that the special prosecutor can find of connections between people on Trump’s team and the Russians — even if the connections go through intermediaries like Stone and Assange — the stronger the overall case. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Roger Stone’s got big problems," 13 Mar. 2018 For example, copyright law has an exception—Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act—for intermediaries who are just doing their jobs. Kevin Werbach, WIRED, "Why Porn on the Blockchain Won't Doom Bitcoin," 29 Mar. 2018

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

Adjective

1777, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1791, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for intermediary

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Time Traveler for intermediary

The first known use of intermediary was in 1777

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More Definitions for intermediary

intermediary

noun

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

1 : mediator
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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