median

noun
me·​di·​an | \ ˈmē-dē-ən How to pronounce median (audio) \

Definition of median

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a medial (see medial sense 2b) part (such as a vein or nerve)
2a : a value in an ordered set of values below and above which there is an equal number of values or which is the arithmetic mean of the two middle values if there is no one middle number
b : a vertical line that divides the histogram of a frequency distribution into two parts of equal area
c : a value of a random variable for which all greater values make the cumulative distribution function greater than one half and all lesser values make it less than one half
3a : a line from a vertex (see vertex sense 2) of a triangle to the midpoint of the opposite side
b : a line joining the midpoints of the nonparallel sides of a trapezoid (see trapezoid sense 1a)

median

adjective

Definition of median (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : being in the middle or in an intermediate position : medial
2 : lying in the plane dividing a bilateral animal into right and left halves
3 : relating to or constituting a statistical median
4 : produced without occlusion along the lengthwise middle line of the tongue

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Other Words from median

Adjective

medianly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for median

Noun

average, mean, median, norm mean something that represents a middle point. average is the quotient obtained by dividing the sum total of a set of figures by the number of figures. scored an average of 85 on tests mean may be the simple average or it may represent value midway between two extremes. a high of 70° and a low of 50° give a mean of 60° median applies to the value that represents the point at which there are as many instances above as there are below. average of a group of persons earning 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10 dollars an hour is 6 dollars, whereas the median is 5 dollars norm means the average of performance of a significantly large group, class, or grade. scores about the norm for fifth grade arithmetic

Did You Know?

People often use the word average without realizing that there are two common forms of average. Suppose you want to find the average net worth of a group of people—that is, the average value of everything they possess. To find one type of average, called the mean, you'd simply add up the total value of money and property of everyone in the group and divide it by the number of people. To find the other type, called the median, you'd identify the net worth of the person who is richer than half the people and poorer than the other half. So if Warren Buffett drove through a tiny village in India, the mean net worth of those in the village would suddenly rise to perhaps a billion dollars, but their median net worth would remain close to zero. Which figure would be more meaningful?

Examples of median in a Sentence

Adjective

What is the median price of homes in this area? the median price of a home in the area

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Due to the home's condition, the cost per square foot is $175, way below Portland's median of $253, according to Redfin. Janet Eastman, OregonLive.com, "Bargains or money pits? Portland fixer-uppers for sale (photos)," 5 Apr. 2018 Redfin defined affordability by zip codes that have a median home sale price below the national median of $291,700. William Axford, Houston Chronicle, "Independence Heights is the Houston neighborhood that "Has it all," according to report," 8 Jan. 2018 Their median net worth is still nearly six times higher than the national median for renters, which is just $6,400. Gene Balk / Fyi Guy, The Seattle Times, "Seattle household net worth ranks among top in nation — but wealth doesn’t reach everyone," 19 Feb. 2019 The city, which was once known as America's foreclosure capital, has recently fallen on hard times, with 1-in-4 residents living below the poverty line and the median household income at nearly $8,000 lower than the national median. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Chicago sets up universal income task force as city seeks ways to tackle poverty," 12 Sep. 2018 To test for this in another way, the researchers calculated the median quality of all of a person's works and then determined whether each piece was better or worse than the median. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Creative types all go through hot streaks of superior production," 11 July 2018 Parents with young children, lower wage earners, and the less educated tip less than the overall median of 18%. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Millennials Are America's Worst Tippers," 18 June 2018 The 26 grocery items monitored cost 17 percent more in Sacramento than the median. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "This item costs more in Sacramento than anywhere else in the continental United States," 4 June 2018 The group said local spending per capita on parks was little more than half the national median. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Mecklenburg wanted to build 129 miles of greenways by 2018. It hasn't even come close.," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The last generation of bosses at 10 major U.S. and European food and drinks companies had a median tenure of nine years, compared with five years for S&P 500 chiefs overall. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "New Consumer CEOs Are Getting Tougher, Shorter Jobs," 15 Feb. 2019 This fall, those same markets saw median listings prices drop considerably. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Housing market signaled potential future downturn in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 The 2017 and 2018 reports show that the median speeds provided by cable and fiber networks are still generally at least 100 percent of their advertised speeds. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai buries 2-year-old speed test data in appendix of 762-page report," 5 Dec. 2018 The median price in January was also down slightly from $254,700 in December. Harriet Torry, WSJ, "U.S. Existing Home Sales Drop 1.2% in January," 21 Feb. 2019 In the Dallas area, just 55 percent of the listings are affordable for median-income families with 10 percent down payments. Josh Boak, The Seattle Times, "Analysis: Falling home sales not helping middle-class buyers," 23 Jan. 2019 Comstock’s district, one of the biggest swings on election night, is ranked 18th among 435 House districts in voters with a bachelor’s degree; the median income is high too, at $120,000. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The suburbs abandoned Republicans in 2018, and they might not be coming back.," 26 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, the income gap is continuing to widen: the median household income at Queensbridge Houses is $15,000, compared to $133,000 of those in the high-rise apartments in Hunters Point. Natt Garun, The Verge, "For Queens residents, Amazon’s HQ2 isn’t arriving without a fight," 20 Nov. 2018 And women of retirement age rely on a median income of about $16,000 a year, which is around $11,000 than men of the same age. 14. Megan Friedman, Marie Claire, "14 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men," 6 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'median.' 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 median

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for median

Noun

Middle English mediane, from Late Latin mediana (vena) median (vein), from feminine of Latin medianus in the middle, central, from medius middle — more at mid

Adjective

Latin medianus — see median entry 1

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Learn More about median

Statistics for median

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for median

The first known use of median was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for median

median

noun

English Language Learners Definition of median

 (Entry 1 of 2)

mathematics : the middle value in a series of values arranged from smallest to largest

median

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of median (Entry 2 of 2)

: in the middle especially, mathematics : having a value that is in the middle of a series of values arranged from smallest to largest

median

noun
me·​di·​an | \ ˈmē-dē-ən\

Kids Definition of median

: a value in a series arranged from smallest to largest below and above which there are an equal number of values or which is the average of the two middle values if there is no one middle value The median of the set 1, 3, 7, 12, 19 is 7.

median

noun
me·​di·​an | \ ˈmēd-ē-ən How to pronounce median (audio) \

Medical Definition of median

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a medial part (as a vein or nerve)
2a : a value in an ordered set of values below and above which there is an equal number of values or which is the arithmetic mean of the two middle values if there is no one middle number
b : a vertical line that divides the histogram of a frequency distribution into two parts of equal area

median

adjective

Medical Definition of median (Entry 2 of 2)

: situated in the middle specifically : lying in a plane dividing a bilateral animal into right and left halves

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Comments on median

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