me·​di·​um | \ ˈmē-dē-əm How to pronounce medium (audio) \
plural mediums or media\ ˈmē-​dē-​ə How to pronounce media (audio) \

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

This is the history that every child learns in textbooks, that museums serve up in exhibitions, and that the media push in countless television dramas, news reports, and popular books. Ian Johnson, The New York Review of Books, "China’s ‘Black Week-end’," 17 June 2019 Sunday's rain delay was the Reds' fifth weather delay of the season at GABP, according to the club's media relations staff. Bobby Nightengale,, "Cincinnati Reds series finale against Texas Rangers delayed," 16 June 2019 In addition to generating publicity for sports teams, most SIDs are training students to go into sports information, public relations and other media jobs. Terry Pluto,, "John Carroll’s Chris Wenzler and Baldwin Wallace’s Kevin Ruple: A story of small-college sports, big hearts and cancer — Terry Pluto," 16 June 2019 Casino officials have declined media requests to tour the property in recent months, opting instead to showcase it on a single preview on June 21. Washington Post, "Glitzy casino opens on industrial waterfront. Will it work?," 16 June 2019 Police are treating the case as suicide, local media said, giving the man’s surname as Leung. Time Staff, Time, "A Hong Kong Extradition Protester Who Fell to His Death Is Being Hailed as a 'Martyr'," 16 June 2019 The Denver Nuggets invaded Oracle Arena in a swirl of confidence and media bombast, leading many to believe they were destined to win this year’s Western Conference. Bruce Jenkins,, "The Warriors’ season crashed, but it was one to remember," 15 June 2019 The Road To Omaha was three hours and 18 minutes long, from the media parking lot at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City to a cramped parking garage in downtown Omaha, where a row of spots was reserved for Texas Tech. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan baseball's road to Omaha: Meet the characters who sparked the run," 15 June 2019 The show represents a wide array of styles and media showcasing the expressiveness of faces and bodies in graphite, photography, woodblock, and more., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 15 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Trolling with side planners boards, diving planers and small to medium-sized spoons has been productive just about everywhere. D'arcy Egan,, "Lake Erie walleye fishing on fire off Lorain: NE Ohio Fishing Report for June 7," 7 June 2019 Sullivan noted that the Coast Guard is in the process of adding four medium-sized fast response cutters to Alaska bases — two in Kodiak, one in Seward and one in Sitka — in addition to the two already based in Ketchikan. Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Sullivan wants new US icebreaker focused on the Arctic, not the Antarctic," 6 June 2019 The Impossible Burger combines various kinds of soy with textured wheat protein and coconut oil in an attempt to replicate the fattiness and bleed of a medium-rare beef patty. Bee Wilson, WSJ, "Textures That Delight and Disgust," 21 Feb. 2019 Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring the crumbs, until toasty and crisp all the way through, about 10 minutes. Chrissy Teigen, Good Housekeeping, "Avocado with Toasty Crumbs," 14 Jan. 2019 In a small bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat heavy or whipping cream until soft peaks form. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Old-Fashioned Eggnog Your Grandma Would Be Proud Of," 18 Dec. 2018 Use an electric mixer to beat butter on medium speed until soft and whipped, 2-3 minutes. Adina Steiman, WSJ, "This Holiday Season’s Smartest Cookie," 5 Dec. 2018 Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Be Ambitious This Thanksgiving: 3 Bold Recipes From One of L.A.’s Most Talked About Restaurants," 2 Nov. 2018 Add butter; beat with electric mixer on medium speed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Lauren Delgado,, "Celebrate National Pecan Pie Day with a modern take on this classic," 12 July 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

Noun and Adjective

Latin, from neuter of medius middle — more at mid

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Statistics for medium

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce medium (audio) \
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 How to pronounce medium (audio) \
plural mediums or media\ -​ē-​ə How to pronounce media (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on medium

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with medium

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for medium

Spanish Central: Translation of medium

Nglish: Translation of medium for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of medium for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about medium

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).


having a desire to acquire more things

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