Definition of mediocrity
- came to terms with his mediocrity
- fed up with the mediocrity of the local schools
- a most intelligent middle-aged mediocrity
- —Oscar Wilde
We were disappointed by the mediocrity of the wine.
He thought that he was a brilliant artist himself and that all his fellow painters were just mediocrities.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mediocrity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
People interested in words always point out that mediocrity doesn't mean quite what its main root would indicate: Why doesn't it describe something that's right in the middle of the pack, exactly what you would expect? Instead the words mediocrity and mediocre always suggest disappointment. A mediocre play is one you wish you hadn't wasted an evening on, and the mediocre actor in it should probably find another profession. A person can even be called a mediocrity, though it isn't very nice and you'd never do it to his face.
: the quality of something that is not very good : the quality or state of being mediocre
: a person who does not have the special ability to do something well
What made you want to look up mediocrity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Confusing Words—A Quiz