median

noun
me·​di·​an | \ ˈmē-dē-ən \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Video footage shows a few officers standing in the median of a busy street around Ohene. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Video of Massachusetts Cops Punching Black Harvard Student Sparks Outrage," 17 Apr. 2018 The teens were westbound on I-96 near Williamston on their way to hockey practice about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday when their car went out of control, leaving the roadway and hitting a tree in the median. Susan Bromley, Detroit Free Press, "Girls killed in I-96 crash were on way to hockey practice near Lansing," 8 Feb. 2018 According to the Economic Policy Institute, Native American median household income is roughly 30 percent below the national median, and poverty rates are nearly double the national average. Alexandra Mondalek, Vox, "Fake turquoise jewelry is hurting Native Americans economically," 24 Oct. 2018 Rents also are rising in Orlando, Zillow said, noting a 3.5 percent increase since April 2017 to a median figure of $1,448 monthly — just one dollar short of the national median, which was a 2.5 percent increase. Bill Zimmerman, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando home values up 10 percent year over year, Zillow finds," 24 May 2018 Half of employees are paid less than the median, and half are paid more. Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New filings show big pay gaps at retailers, but industry says disclosure rules are unfair," 21 May 2018 The wrist monitors revealed that all of the students slept more — a median of 34 minutes more per night — after the start time changed. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why we might want the school day to start later," 12 Dec. 2018 The hard limit contributed to severe congestion on the bitcoin network, pushing transaction fees up to a median of $34 in mid-December. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Imminent Bitcoin Cash schism triggers cryptocurrency selloff," 14 Nov. 2018 Two-thirds have endowments of less than a million dollars, and the median is $500,000. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "What should you do if you win the lottery? Start a foundation.," 29 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Meanwhile, the overall Manhattan market has been struggling, with median sales prices down 5.8% year-over-year. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Two Harlem Townhouses Ask One Record-Breaking $27 Million Price," 11 Jan. 2019 This month, the Federal Reserve moderately lowered its median projection of next year’s economic growth from 2.5% to a still-respectable 2.3%. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Behind the Market Swoon: The Herdlike Behavior of Computerized Trading," 25 Dec. 2018 But at those prices, casual travelers are better off with LoungeBuddy, where the median price of a day pass is $35 and there’s no one-time fee. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Ways to Get Airport Lounge Access for Every Type of Traveler," 21 Aug. 2018 For comparison, in 2015, the median price of an apartment in Manhattan was $916,000. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "'Game of Thrones' castle selling in Northern Ireland for less than the cost of a New York apartment," 1 Aug. 2018 An October 2017 report from the health care researcher Amino looked at 129 insurance companies, finding that the median price for a copper IUD was $1,045. Korin Miller, SELF, "13 Things You Absolutely Should Know Before Getting the Copper IUD," 20 July 2018 With the economy picking up recently and unemployment falling, Alexander believes the Fed’s median projection will increase to four. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Week ahead: Will the Fed lift its forecast to four rate hikes in 2018?," 11 June 2018 The median projection of policy makers released by the central bank in March is for the funds rate to reach 3.4 percent by the end of 2020. Rich Miller, Bloomberg.com, "Fed Finds Success at Home Spreads Pain Abroad as Markets Tighten," 14 May 2018 Fed policymakers, in contrast, peg the neutral rate at 2.9%, according to the median projection of officials in March. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Trump to nominate Pimco's Richard Clarida as Federal Reserve vice chair," 16 Apr. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about median

Statistics for median

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for median

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on median

What made you want to look up median? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by shyness and lack of polish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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