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

Not sure if there is an intermediary step but the Breeders’ Cup Classic is in the cards. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Racing! McKinzie seems ready for more," 4 Aug. 2019 BMIs aim to further integrate technology into the human experience by bypassing intermediary steps, like hands, creating a direct channel of exchange between the brain and machines. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Elon Musk wants to put an AI interface in your brain. Should you be worried?," 21 July 2019 And, each time, the number of people accumulating in intermediary countries would grow. Amanda Taub, New York Times, "Trump’s Immigration Approach Isn’t New: Europe and Australia Went First," 18 July 2019 The discovery of these new intermediary species, which filled in the spotty fossil record, triggered a change in how paleontologists conceived of the dinosaur-to-bird transition. Quanta Magazine, "How Dinosaurs Shrank and Became Birds," 2 June 2015 Social media influencers are often one-person businesses, but a whole ecosystem of intermediary actors has developed around them. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz, "A whole ecosystem of companies influences the influencers," 10 June 2019 In essence, Apple is adding an extra intermediary step, making sure the app doesn’t know your email and that third parties can’t combine data to get a picture of your activity across multiple apps. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Apple’s new sign-in button is built for a post-Cambridge Analytica world," 8 June 2019 The technology sector was previously a strong source of demand but declined to fifth in sectors looking for workers, while intermediary services, education and pharmaceutical industries were looking for the most workers. Bloomberg.com, "It Looks Like the Worst Chinese Labor Market Since 2015," 26 Apr. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ten years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto proclaimed that Bitcoin could provide a peer-to-peer means to transfer value that could eliminate or at least reduce our reliance on large centralized financial intermediaries. Timothy Massad, Fortune, "Is Facebook Libra a Betrayal of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Vision?," 15 July 2019 But those novels are just intermediaries: Twilight contains many references to Emily Brontë’s tale of abusive love, Wuthering Heights, while Fifty Shades uses Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles as a motif. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "What Women Want," 22 July 2019 Modern apps mostly use application programming interfaces (APIs)—a software intermediary that allows two applications to exchange information in order to serve content. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "It took a ban and a government notice for ByteDance to wake up in India," 21 July 2019 The Post last year confirmed that two intermediaries had relayed such a claim to lawmakers and the FBI. Seung Min Kim, Anchorage Daily News, "Senator told FBI last fall of new information about Kavanaugh," 16 Sep. 2019 Then, a few years ago, Moser was walking down the street in Paris and got a call from an intermediary. Nina Siegal, New York Times, "A Big New Biography of Susan Sontag Digs to Find the Person Beneath the Icon," 15 Sep. 2019 If Trump ordered the Air Force to prop up his failing resort, there must be a long chain of intermediaries who took this directive from the president and passed it down the line. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Politico Doubles Down on Fake Turnberry Scandal," 13 Sep. 2019 This intermediary would then direct funds to the nonprofits of its choice, so as to protect against donor influence and to create some system of reparations for the crimes committed. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "Is it ever OK to take donations from people like Jeffrey Epstein?," 11 Sep. 2019 Roberto says he was forced to pay a fee and turn over the deed to his parents’ property to an intermediary in Mexico as security for his continued work in the United States. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Farm worker says migrants were mistreated in Wisconsin and Georgia as part of alleged labor trafficking scheme," 10 Sep. 2019

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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