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

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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

But that’s still below the medians for other major Texas cities. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio ranks low in number of million-dollar homes," 12 July 2018 Much of Liberty Park is in a census tract whose median household income is barely half the citywide median. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "A 60-year-old fuel terminal could leave Boise’s Bench. Here’s what could replace it.," 11 July 2018 If investors’ expectations are met, by 2027 Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft will all have profits above the historical median of 0.24%. The Economist, "History’s biggest firms," 5 July 2018 While Richmond has plenty of other Confederate symbols, the commission's mandate was limited to the five giant Confederate statues that dot Monument Avenue, a prestigious residential street lined with mansions and divided by a grassy median. Sarah Rankin, The Christian Science Monitor, "After a year of soul-searching, Richmond reimagines its Confederate monuments," 3 July 2018 For folks who see increases well above the median in fast-rising neighborhoods, a higher tax bill is all but certain barring a successful assessment appeal. Hal Dardick, chicagotribune.com, "Home values rise on North Side, fall on South Side as Berrios tweaks assessments," 3 July 2018 While Richmond has plenty of other Confederate symbols, the commission’s mandate was limited to the five giant Confederate statues that dot Monument Avenue, a prestigious residential street lined with mansions and divided by a grassy median. Sarah Rankin, The Seattle Times, "Panel: Remove Confederate president’s statue in Richmond," 2 July 2018 The Bloomberg survey median called for a 0.4 percent gain. Fortune, "U.S. Inflation Posted Its Highest Annual Growth Rate in 6 Years," 29 June 2018 But the report also shows that the profit would not be quite enough to cover the median down payment on a new home in Miami, which stood at $53,820 as of April 2018. Rene Rodriguez, miamiherald, "Miami home sellers made a nice profit in 2017. Just not quite enough for a new place.," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The median home value there is just under half a million or $479,400, while a typical household makes $53,685 a year. Johnny Diaz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Three South Florida cities rank among the worst to live in," 20 June 2018 For the median home value, that’s about $33 per year. Zoie Matthew, Los Angeles Magazine, "Here’s What’s Being Done to End L.A.’s Homelessness Crisis," 14 June 2018 The median home value, including condominiums, for six cities in South King County — Tukwila, Burien, Renton, Kent, Normandy Park and SeaTac — was $458,000 in April, according to Zillow. Nina Shapiro, The Seattle Times, "South King County tries to ride the development wave. Will an immigrant community be crushed?," 9 June 2018 In the four years to April 2012 the median house value in America fell by a fifth. The Economist, "How a small town in North Dakota got its groove back," 7 June 2018 The median home value was $335,800 versus $135,300 for the state. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "The richest small town in Kansas? Site says it's this JoCo spot, but that's doubtful," 7 June 2018 According to Zillow, the median home value in California is $537,315 and is expected to rise even higher. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Is California's solar mandate a good move?," 25 May 2018 For a resident with a home valued at $160,000 - the median value in the county - the one mill would mean a tax of $135 a year or $11.25 a month. Stephen Hudak, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orange County commissioners expected to OK school request to put renewal tax on Aug. 28 ballot," 22 May 2018 The median value of a home in San Francisco -- $938,186 -- is nearly five times higher than one in Houston. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "Houston vs. San Francisco: No competition when it comes to home prices," 22 May 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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Statistics for median

Last Updated

25 Sep 2018

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 \

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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