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

Income for blacks at the median and lower-income segment saw a bigger increase than comparable whites and kept pace in the higher-income bracket. David Carrig, USA TODAY, "Study: Asians displace blacks as most economically divided group," 12 July 2018 The driver of the pickup truck lost control of the vehicle, crossed over the median and went into oncoming lanes of traffic before striking a metal barricade, police said. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Passenger killed in alleged drunken-driving rollover crash near Johnson Space Center," 11 May 2018 Other goals are to show mifepristone can keep cancer stable for a median of 15 weeks — five weeks longer than with last-resort chemo — and improve quality of life. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Can the abortion pill treat advanced lung cancer? This infertility expert wants to find out," 3 July 2018 Privacy - Terms The report states that people who sold their homes in Miami in 2017 held them a median of 11 years. Rene Rodriguez, miamiherald, "Miami home sellers made a nice profit in 2017. Just not quite enough for a new place.," 26 June 2018 Women also tend to leave bigger tips than men, a median of 20% compared to 16%. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Millennials Are America's Worst Tippers," 18 June 2018 Henry, prosecutors say, barreled down the highway off ramp, hit a median and went airborne. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Friend of drunken driving crash victim: 'I will never forget what Joe did for me'," 28 June 2018 The truck backed into the front passenger side of the patrol car — knocking off the bumper — then hit a stop sign in the median. Jeff Weiner, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deputy woke driver passed out at a green light. Then, driver backed up — knocking off the deputy's bumper.," 28 June 2018 Cornist lives minutes away from the new BART line, which travels in the median of Highway 4, where traffic creeps in the morning and evening and sometimes in between. Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, "What’s that smell? It’s a clean train car on BART’s new line," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The median home price of $255,000 is still up 11.3 percent annually, according to Zillow, an online real estate database firm. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Home prices are high. What could cool them down?," 12 July 2018 In May, the median price of a home in the San Antonio-New Braunfels metro area hit a new high of $228,000, according to the Texas A&M Real Estate Center. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio ranks low in number of million-dollar homes," 12 July 2018 The median price of a new development apartment was down 13.7% to $1.4 million, while new development sales slid by 32%. WSJ, "Slowdown in Home Sales Spreads to Brooklyn and Queens," 12 July 2018 Howard County continues to have the most expensive homes, with median sales prices in June up 2.4 percent to $448,000. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "With inventory tight, home prices continue to rise in Baltimore region," 11 July 2018 San Francisco County tops with a median home price of $1.6 million and $333,270 minimum qualifying income, followed closely by San Mateo and Santa Clara counties just to the south of the city, according to the California Association of Realtors. Gabby Ferreira, sacbee, "San Francisco is expensive — and rents are the highest in the world, study says," 9 July 2018 The median price for May was nearly $500,000, up $6,110 from a year ago, according to a home sales report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Danielle Chastaine, The Seattle Times, "Gig Harbor ponders next moves as residential-development moratorium nears end," 8 July 2018 That's about $65,000 more than the area's median existing house sale price. Catherine Reagor, azcentral, "Metro Phoenix homebuilding hits decade high," 8 July 2018 The national median home price reached $245,000 in the second quarter of this year, up 75 percent from the lows at the beginning of 2012, according to a recent report by ATTOM Data Solutions. Jonnelle Marte, chicagotribune.com, "Black homeownership is stuck near 30-year lows," 6 July 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

6 Nov 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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