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

Detroit, one of the cheapest cities in the country, will run renters a median of $900 for a two-bedroom apartment. Lydia Gerike, courant.com, "Hartford rent prices are up slightly since last year, but the city is still more affordable than most, a new report says," 11 July 2019 This year, a median of eight high-tide flooding days are expected in the Mid-Atlantic, fewer than last year but a 140% increase relative to observations from 2000. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore, Annapolis set records for sunny-day flooding in 2018 — and it could eventually occur every other day," 10 July 2019 The north Atlantic coast tallied the most days of tidal flooding — a median of 10 days — largely because of nor’easters — fierce East Coast storms — on top of sea level rise. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "High-tide flooding poses big problem for U.S., California, federal scientists warn," 10 July 2019 In this case, the Marines fell under suspicion on July 3 after a Border Patrol agent saw a black vehicle momentarily park in the dirt median of Interstate 8 near Jacumba Hot Springs, California. Meagan Flynn, Anchorage Daily News, "Two active-duty US Marines allegedly smuggled undocumented Mexican immigrants," 9 July 2019 Since 2008 the share prices of acquirers have outperformed the stockmarket by a median of 1.1% in the quarter when the deal was announced, according to Willis Towers Watson, a financial firm. The Economist, "Investors and regulators fall out of love with colossal deals," 6 July 2019 Medical assistants, one of the fastest-growing jobs in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, make a bit more: a median of $15 to 16 an hour. Marcia Heroux Pounds, sun-sentinel.com, "Check out the fastest-growing jobs in South Florida," 3 July 2019 Officers found the body of a woman laying on her back in the grass median of U.S. Highway 92 in Lakeland – about 60 miles southwest of Orlando – around 6:40 a.m. Sunday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. Fox News, "Body of Florida woman, 22, found in ‘suspicious circumstances,’ police say," 19 June 2019 Recipients had to be adults living in a Stockton neighborhood where the median income was at or below the city median of $46,033 a year. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "125 residents of this city got hundreds a month in free money -- here's what happened," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This problem is a major contributor to America’s racial wealth gap; the median wealth among black families is about a tenth that of white families. Lizzie Presser, ProPublica, "The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It.," 15 July 2019 The median amount of time a company was listed on the market rose 7% during the second quarter to 183 days, compared to a year earlier. Washington Post, "Trade wars cool market for small businesses," 15 July 2019 The mayor's salary would be set at 30% more than the median salary, and the council's salary would be 1% less than the median. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "Glendale council will ask voters for 55% pay raise in November special election," 15 July 2019 The institute looked at three years of city of Chicago crime data and census demographic reports to estimate the number of children under the age of five 5 living in community areas with a greater-than-median number of homicides. Peter Nickeas, chicagotribune.com, "‘Staggering’ number of children exposed to violence in Chicago; new study says kid population greater in high-homicide areas," 15 July 2019 Participants stayed in the study for a median length of six years. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Five habits can reduce dementia risk—but you’ve got to go all in," 14 July 2019 At Retrophin, the median employee makes $301,000, while Chief Executive Steve Aselage took home $2.26 million. San Diego Union-Tribune, "How much did San Diego’s top CEOS make last year? (Hint, their average pay went up 42%)," 14 July 2019 But the Cleveland median was up from $47,500 in May. Combining both Cleveland and the suburbs, the median sale price in June was $140,000, up 8.5% from $129,000 in June 2018. Rich Exner, cleveland.com, "Suburban median home price in Cuyahoga County jumps sharply up in June," 13 July 2019 The city had just published the latest statistics on rents—the median rate in Berlin is 6.72 euros per square metre, placing it on the low end among European capitals. Elisabeth Zerofsky, The New Yorker, "The Causes and Consequences of Berlin’s Rapid Gentrification," 12 July 2019

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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Statistics for median

Last Updated

17 Jul 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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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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