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

The man who struck the median was taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton with minor injuries. BostonGlobe.com, "A 19-year-old man was struck and injured by a car on a Northampton highway Sunday night when he and a man stopped to help another vehicle that struck the median, police said.," 17 Sep. 2019 The segment that boomed this August were homes priced above the median — sales of homes between $250,000 and $499,000 grew 15 percent from 2018 — and rentals. R.a. Schuetz, Houston Chronicle, "Mortgage rates have fallen. Will homebuyers respond? Houston waits," 11 Sep. 2019 The median household had income of $63,179 in 2018, not statistically different from the 2017 median, the Census Bureau said. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Americans' income barely inching up despite economic growth," 10 Sep. 2019 Traffic on northbound Interstate 5 in Snohomish County near Arlington was backed up for at least four miles Sunday as crews fought a brush fire in the freeway median, according to the Washington State Patrol. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Brush fire on I-5, collisions snarl Snohomish County traffic Sunday," 28 July 2019 The economy expanded by 2.9 percent in 2018, and economists expect that pace to slow to 2.3 percent in 2019 before falling to 1.8 percent next year, based on the median in a survey by Bloomberg. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "Recession or Slowdown? Why You Should Care About the Difference," 13 Sep. 2019 Researchers determined the suicide rate jumped from a median of 15 per 100,000 county residents in 1999 to 2001 to 21.2 per 100,000 in 2014 to 2016. Jen Christensen, CNN, "Living near a gun shop or in a rural area puts you at higher risk for suicide, study says," 6 Sep. 2019 Parts of the median in the center of the dedicated bus lane had come off their track and were raised off the ground. Kellie Hwang, Indianapolis Star, "Packed buses but also some scrapes and smoke for Red Line's first day," 1 Sep. 2019 Eric Gonzalez, supervisor of the sheriff’s special operations division, which includes the traffic unit. said problems arise on the county’s larger roads with houses along them that don’t have a median in the middle of the road. Erika Butler, baltimoresun.com, "Harford law enforcement aim to reduce number of drivers passing buses with red lights flashing," 29 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Instead, the median gap examines what women and men earn across an entire institution. CNN, "The gender pay gap will remain until companies change their ways," 17 Sep. 2019 Students who borrow for medical school graduate with a median debt of $200,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Cornell's medical school debuts free education for students who qualify for financial aid," 16 Sep. 2019 Moreover, Latino families' median household wealth is under $7,000, compared with $147,000 for non-Latino white families. Gwen Aviles, NBC News, "#Latino20: Ana Marie Argilagos — Building Latino opportunity and wealth," 16 Sep. 2019 The median annual compensation for GM workers is $77,849, the Detroit Free Press reported. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "How the UAW strike against GM affects Indiana," 16 Sep. 2019 Cordero was a passenger in Smith’s Lamborghini, which had a tire malfunction and struck the median wall. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 12 Sep. 2019 According to a study in JAMA, the median length of the whole shebang, as marked by hot flash symptoms, is 7.4 years total (roughly 3 before your last period and 4.5 after). Beth Janes, Good Housekeeping, "6 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Menopause," 10 Sep. 2019 To gauge the importance of statin therapy in PAD, researchers led by Dr. Jorn Dopheide from Bern University Hospital in Switzerland tracked nearly 700 patients between 2010 and 2017, with a median follow-up of 50 months. Dennis Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "Poor circulation in legs? Statin meds may keep you living longer.," 9 Sep. 2019 Respondents to a recent LendEDU survey reported having median or midpoint savings of just $712, which doesn't provide much of a buffer. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "How to make your retirement earnings recession-proof," 8 Sep. 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

9 Oct 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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