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

That report estimated a 20-market average of $19.35 per hour before expenses — $5 more per hour than Ridester’s poll, which uses a nationwide median and only covers UberX drivers. Rani Molla, Recode, "Half of U.S. Uber drivers make less than $10 an hour after vehicle expenses, according to a new study," 2 Oct. 2018 Cohen by chance was headed down the same highway, saw the disabled SUV, pulled in and put on his warning hazards and called for help before walking to the median. Dan Morse, Washington Post, "Driver pays $280 fine, ending Md. traffic case after deaths of two law enforcement officers," 6 July 2018 On June 1, residents from the Sanctuary housing complex informed police some flowers were stolen from a median near the main Waukegan Road entrance. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "A Lake Bluff housing complex plants new flowers each year. Six times since 2013, the flowers have been stolen.," 26 June 2018 Homes lasted a median of just 26 days on the market in April, down from 39 days a year ago. Josh Boak, USA TODAY, "US home sales fall 2.5% in April, Mortgage rates hit 7-year high," 24 May 2018 The area with the highest net worth in the country is San Rafael, California — that’s ultrawealthy Marin County, near San Francisco — with a median of $1.1 million. 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 Nationally, 72 percent of graduates from the class of 2018 had debt from medical school, with a median of $195,000 in loans, according to student surveys by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Fox News, "NYU offers full-tuition scholarships for all medical students," 16 Aug. 2018 The study found people who are college educated, over the age of 65, from the Northeast and Midwest, and women all reported leaving a median of 20 percent-an above average tip. Riley Griffin, chicagotribune.com, "When it comes to tipping for service, millennials are cheapest," 18 June 2018 That’s the highest ever for the local market, by a considerable margin — in second place was April, with a median of $222,800. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio home prices reach a new high," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Property companies such as Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. and HCP Inc. paid their median employees more than some of the largest banks did. ... Patrick Thomas, WSJ, "Finance’s Top Earners Don’t Work at a Bank," 16 Apr. 2019 The median American has less than $12,000 in savings, while people in the bottom two-fifths of the income scale have nothing at all. Bryce Covert, Glamour, "America Could at Last Pass Paid Leave. But What Good Is a Plan That Excludes Millions of Women?," 2 Apr. 2019 The current median cost of a single-family house is $655,000 in King County, $475,000 in Snohomish County and $355,000 in Pierce County. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Seattle-area home price cool-down stands out among U.S. cities," 26 Mar. 2019 Whereas back in December the median projection among the central banks’ policy makers called for two rate increases this year, now they... Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Collapsing Yields Could Head Even Lower," 22 Mar. 2019 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

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

8 May 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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