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

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 A few hours north in Orlando, rent climbed 25% over the same time period, with the median at about $1,900 a month. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 20 July 2022 With a meticulously landscaped median, the Manhattan boulevard is a two-mile gauntlet of elegant brick apartment buildings in shades from buff to earthen, with liveried doormen and Renaissance Revival and neo-Gothic exterior ornament. Nancy Hass, ELLE Decor, 1 June 2022 Main Street in Canandaigua, a town of over 10,500 residents, is four lanes wide with a grassy median in the middle. Jake Blumgart, oregonlive, 7 Feb. 2022 Annual expenses for the nonprofits studied ranged from about $100,000 to $88 million, with a median of $1.5 million. Star Tribune, 8 June 2021 Those six cases of concerning blood clots happened typically about a week after vaccination and no longer than three weeks after vaccination, with a median of about nine days after, Marks said. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, 14 Apr. 2021 In 2016, their incomes ranged from about $12,000 at the 10th percentile to roughly $133,500 at the 90th percentile, with a median of about $51,000, according to the Pew Research Center. New York Times, 20 Mar. 2021 The van struck an eastbound 18-wheeler flatbed hauling building supplies, pushing it across the median and into the westbound lanes where the first accident took place. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 13 July 2022 By comparison, the Pew Research Center estimated in 2018 that one-fifth of Americans live in upper-income households, making more than double the national median. Christine Mui, Fortune, 13 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To be eligible for the fourth phase of the program, households must earn a gross income that is less than half of the median income of households in the county. Gaya Gupta, Washington Post, 30 July 2022 Middle-income units are defined as those reserved for families making between 80 percent and 150 percent of the region’s median income. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 July 2022 The town has a need for affordable housing, Mahoney wrote, noting that nearly half of renter households in town earn less than the area median income. Don Stacom, Hartford Courant, 26 July 2022 Boyle Heights and South-Central are areas where a majority of residents earn less than the city’s median income and are renters. Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2022 Neighborhoods with a lottery retailer in Michigan have a median poverty rate nearly double the rate in neighborhoods without lottery retailers, the center's analysis found. Detroit Free Press, 13 July 2022 Neighborhoods with a lottery retailer in Michigan have a median poverty rate nearly double the rate in neighborhoods without lottery retailers, the center's analysis found. CBS News, 11 July 2022 The most common pay philosophy is matching the market, which involves paying at the 50th percentile or the median market rate. Lisa Shuster, Forbes, 30 June 2022 Compare that to high-priority but low socioeconomic communities, where the median rate was about half that, despite the greater need for trees. Joe Mahr, Chicago Tribune, 15 June 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About median

Time Traveler for median

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near median

media man

median

median basilic vein

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for median

Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Median.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/median. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for median

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

More from Merriam-Webster on median

Nglish: Translation of median for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of median for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about median

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!