me·di·um | \ˈmē-dē-əm \
plural mediums or media\ˈmē-dē-ə \

Definition of medium 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something in a middle position These shirts are all mediums.

b : a middle condition or degree : mean Look for a happy medium.

2 : a means of effecting or conveying something: such as

a(1) : a substance regarded as the means of transmission (see transmission sense 1) of a force or effect air is the medium that conveys sound

(2) : a surrounding or enveloping substance

(3) : the tenuous material (such as gas and dust) in space that exists outside large agglomerations (see agglomeration sense 2) of matter (such as stars) interstellar medium

b plural usually media

(1) : a channel or system of communication, information, or entertainment — compare mass medium

(2) : a publication or broadcast that carries advertising

(3) : a mode of artistic expression or communication as his literary medium he has chosen a biographical form— Ernest Newman

(4) : something (such as a magnetic disk) on which information may be stored

c media plural : digital audio or video files available for playback or streaming … the free video broadcasts can be downloaded to portable media players from a number of popular pod[cast] and vodcast Web sites.— Steve Miller Apple's current keyboards can use the function keys … for alternate functions such as controlling volume, screen brightness, media playback …— Dan Frakes

d : go-between, intermediary the medium of introduction was no doubt … the publisher— Richard Garnett

d plural mediums : an individual held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits

e : material or technical means of artistic expression (such as paint and canvas, sculptural stone, or literary or musical form)

3a : a condition or environment in which something may function or flourish Ocean fish live in a medium of salt water.

b plural media

(1) : a nutrient system for the artificial cultivation of cells or organisms and especially bacteria

(2) : a fluid or solid in which organic (see organic entry 1 sense 3) structures are placed (as for preservation or mounting)

c : a liquid with which pigment is mixed by a painter



Definition of medium (Entry 2 of 2)

: intermediate in quantity, quality, position, size, or degree

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Is media singular or plural?: Usage Guide


The singular media and its plural medias seem to have originated in the field of advertising over 70 years ago; they are still so used without stigma in that specialized field. In most other applications media is used as a plural of medium. The popularity of the word in references to the agencies of mass communication is leading to the formation of a mass noun, construed as a singular. there's no basis for it. You know, the news media gets on to something — Edwin Meese 3d the media is less interested in the party's policies — James Lewis, Guardian Weekly This use is not as well established as the mass-noun use of data and is likely to incur criticism especially in writing.

Examples of medium in a Sentence


These shirts are all mediums and I take a large. Make my French fries a medium. Her preferred medium is sculpture. The artist works in two media , pencil and watercolor.


These T-shirts are available in three sizes: small, medium, and large. a person of medium build How would you like your steak, sir: rare, medium, or well-done?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot, and add the meat, turmeric, ginger, saffron, salt and pepper. Daniel Neman, sacbee, "Artistry, flavor blends are marks of Moroccan," 10 July 2018 To make the pancakes, heat a cast iron or nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Caleb Barber,, "Recipe: Pancake lovers will sing with joy over these cornmeal-oat blueberry beauties," 9 July 2018 In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water, sugar, rhubarb and ginger to a boil, stirring enough to ensure the sugar dissolves. Maya Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "Rhubarb meets gin in a rose-colored, refreshing summer cocktail," 5 July 2018 Bring a grill sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. 2. Lisa Lillien,, "Hungry Girl Shares Her Thai-Inspired Chicken and Creamy Peanut Sauce Recipe," 2 July 2018 In a small pot over medium-low heat, add butter and onions. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "Celebrate Fourth of July with these Louisville chef throwback recipes," 2 July 2018 Reaction to the idea of snake that blends in with concrete has grown steadily as media outlets have carried stories of the photo. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "A white rattlesnake? Texas park posts photo of ‘cryptic’ viper known for potent bite.," 13 July 2018 For starters, there’s too much money at stake — for corporate sponsors, media outlets, leagues and players — to allow such a failure to reoccur. Rich Campbell,, "Missing World Cup can't be in vain for U.S. men's national team," 13 July 2018 Even Chris Ruddy, a close friend of Mr. Trump’s and CEO of the conservative media outlet Newsmax, criticized the deal. Christa Case Bryant, The Christian Science Monitor, "As news ownership consolidates, will local TV become more partisan?," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In a saucepan, whisk the cornmeal into the water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Caleb Barber,, "Recipe: Pancake lovers will sing with joy over these cornmeal-oat blueberry beauties," 9 July 2018 Increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough forms a ball and begins to pull away from sides of bowl, 6 to 8 minutes. Hannah Walhout, Smithsonian, "Forget Baguettes — Why In-the-Know Bread Lovers Should be Heading to the Caucasus (Recipe)," 5 July 2018 Notably, most of the top 10 cities in the rankings are small- to medium-sized with universities. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "This Sacramento-area city is the safest in the country for cyclists," 3 July 2018 Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for two minutes. Sonia Rao,, "Summer cocktail recipes to expand your happy hour horizons," 29 June 2018 Cook until the steak is 115 degrees in the middle, or about 20 degrees shy of medium-rare. Nick Kindelsperger, charlotteobserver, "Can you cook a great steak indoors? Yes, if you learn this trick," 26 June 2018 The steak’s worth talking about, a big rib-eye seared crisp outside and medium-rare inside, served on a cutting board with chimichurri and roasted asparagus and whole carrots. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: The Winchester British pub fires blanks on Broadway," 21 June 2018 The effect is that of a burger made from perfectly cooked Wagyu steaks as some individual chunks take a sear but remain medium-rare on the inside. Stan Parish, WSJ, "‘Go Beyond Sushi’: Tokyo’s Culinary Gems," 19 June 2018 For most people, that limits carbohydrate intake to 19 grams per day, or the equivalent of a medium-sized apple. Katie Parsons,, "Ketogenic diet popular for weight loss," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'medium.' 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 medium


1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1670, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for medium


Latin, from neuter of medius middle — more at mid


see medium entry 1

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Phrases Related to medium

happy medium

media blitz

Statistics for medium

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for medium

The first known use of medium was in 1589

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More Definitions for medium



English Language Learners Definition of medium

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that is sold in a medium size : something that is the middle size when compared with things that are larger and smaller

: a particular form or system of communication (such as newspapers, radio, or television)

: the materials or methods used by an artist



English Language Learners Definition of medium (Entry 2 of 2)

: in the middle of a range of possible sizes, amounts, etc.

of meat : cooked to a point that is between rare and well-done


me·di·um | \ˈmē-dē-əm \
plural mediums or media\-dē-ə \

Kids Definition of medium

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that is in a middle position (as in size)

2 : the thing by which or through which something is done Writing is a medium of communication.

3 : the substance in which something lives or acts the medium of air

4 plural usually media : a form or system of communication, information, or entertainment

5 : a person through whom other persons try to communicate with the spirits of the dead



Kids Definition of medium (Entry 2 of 2)

: intermediate in amount, quality, position, or degree medium size


me·di·um | \ˈmēd-ē-əm \
plural mediums or media\-ē-ə \

Medical Definition of medium 

1 : a means of effecting or conveying something: as

a : a substance regarded as the means of transmission of a force or effect

b : a surrounding or enveloping substance

2  plural media

a : a nutrient system for the artificial cultivation of cells or organisms and especially bacteria

b : a fluid or solid in which organic structures are placed (as for preservation or mounting)

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Comments on medium

What made you want to look up medium? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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