medium

1 of 2

noun

me·​di·​um ˈmē-dē-əm How to pronounce medium (audio)
plural mediums or media ˈmē-dē-ə How to pronounce medium (audio)
1
a
: 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 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 formErnest Newman
(4)
: something (such as a magnetic disk) on which information may be stored
b
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
c
: material or technical means of artistic expression (such as paint and canvas, sculptural stone, or literary or musical form)
d
plural mediums : an individual held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits
e(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
f
: go-between, intermediary
the medium of introduction was no doubt … the publisherRichard Garnett
3
a
: 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 1) structures are placed (as for preservation or mounting)
c
: a liquid with which pigment is mixed by a painter
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.

medium

2 of 2

adjective

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

Examples of medium in a Sentence

Noun 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. Adjective 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? See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Modi, on the other hand, has centralized power in his office to an astonishing degree, undermined the independence of public institutions such as the judiciary and the media, built a cult of personality around himself, and pursued his party’s ideological goals with ruthless efficiency. Ramachandra Guha, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 According to media reports, the French proposal calls for Hezbollah and any other militant groups based in southern Lebanon to withdraw 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the border with Israel. Ruth Marks Eglash, Fox News, 19 Feb. 2024 There is no denying that the relationship between the president and the media has had its share of ups and downs over more than two centuries. Peter Suciu, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 Global streamer Netflix had 3.8 million subscribers as of the end of 2023, followed by Shahid VIP, a streamer owned by Middle Eastern media powerhouse MBC Group, with 3.5 million and StarzPlay with 3.0 million, according to the firm’s estimates. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Feb. 2024 Independent Russian media outlet Mediazona published video Sunday of a convoy, including two police cars and a prison van, traveling on Friday night from the Polar Wolf prison colony toward Salekhard, possibly carrying Navalny’s body. Emily Rauhala, Washington Post, 19 Feb. 2024 But the infrastructure could have value to a media company looking to outsource production or to the outgoing Pac-12 schools, which must produce on-campus events for their new conferences’ media partners. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 19 Feb. 2024 In 2020, 536 ice fisherman were rescued from an ice floe that broke away from the shore near Mordvinov Bay on Sakhalin, according to Russian state media RIA Novosti. Josh Pennington, CNN, 18 Feb. 2024 Inward investment in the U.K. film and high-end TV industry was $4.22 billion in 2023, with the bulk of it coming from the U.S. The U.K. culture minister is responsible for culture, media and sport. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 18 Feb. 2024
Adjective
Beautyrest Save up to $1100 off select mattress and adjustable base sets like the hybrid mattress for a medium firm Serta Choose between firm, medium, or plush, and save up to $1100 on select mattresses and adjustable bases during Serta Presidents Day sale. Andrea Navarro, Glamour, 17 Feb. 2024 Roast 1½ to 1¾ hours or until 135°F for medium rare. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Feb. 2024 The set includes two large bins, four medium containers, and six small tubs for your groceries. Clara McMahon, Peoplemag, 15 Feb. 2024 Cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until pancakes are golden brown. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Feb. 2024 Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Pam Lolley, Southern Living, 2 Feb. 2024 Microsoft’s close partnership with OpenAI and its existing connections to tens of thousands of small, medium and large businesses put it in a good position to capture the interest from the corporate world in AI, Somasegar said. Gerrit De Vynck, Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2024 For the risotto, heat the chicken stock in a medium saucepan set over low heat, keeping it at a simmer. Kate Bradshaw, The Mercury News, 31 Jan. 2024 Add chocolate mixture and mix on medium speed until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Steve Dunn, Chicago Tribune, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'medium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Adjective

Latin, from neuter of medius middle — more at mid

First Known Use

Noun

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1670, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of medium was in 1589

Dictionary Entries Near medium

Cite this Entry

“Medium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/medium. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

medium

1 of 2 noun
me·​di·​um ˈmēd-ē-əm How to pronounce medium (audio)
plural mediums or media ˈmēd- ē-ə How to pronounce medium (audio)
1
a
: something that is between or in the middle
b
: a middle condition or degree
2
: the thing by which or through which something is done
money is a medium of exchange
especially : a substance through which a force acts or by which something is carried
air is the common medium of sound
3
plural usually media : a form or system (as newspapers, radio, or television) of communication, information, or entertainment
4
plural mediums : a person through whom others seek to communicate with the spirits of the dead
5
: a surrounding substance or condition : environment
marine fish live in a medium of salt water
6
plural media
a
: a nourishing system for the artificial cultivation of microorganisms (as bacteria) or cells
b
: a fluid or solid in which plant or animal parts are placed (as for mounting or preserving)

medium

2 of 2 adjective
: intermediate in amount, quality, position, or degree

Medical Definition

medium

noun
me·​di·​um ˈmēd-ē-əm How to pronounce medium (audio)
plural mediums or media -ē-ə How to pronounce medium (audio)
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)

More from Merriam-Webster on medium

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