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

Wi-Fi 6 technology is ideal for homes with lots of devices, ranging from smart home gadgets like switches and dimmers to media-streaming devices that pull down high-definition video from the internet. Michael Brown, PCWorld, "Netgear takes its Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system to the next level with Wi-Fi 6," 7 Jan. 2019 Using a 136-inch wheelbase high-roof Ram Promaster (the medium-sized model in the Ram lineup) Glampervan maximizes space with a build customized for two people. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 9 best camper vans of 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 The reception is taking place at the Durbar Hall in the Taj Palace Hotel in India's capital city, according to local media. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Priyanka Chopra Just Stepped Out in an Incredible Reception Dress," 4 Dec. 2018 Mutreb also was identified in state and pro-government media reports. Suzan Fraser, Fox News, "Man linked to Saudi prince at consulate when writer vanished," 18 Oct. 2018 Lyon Housemuseum The Lyon Housemuseum is the super-stylish home of architect Corbett Lyon, his wife, Yueji, and their children, who live among a sensational collection of Australian contemporary art of all media, from paintings to video. Carrie Hutchinson, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Museums in Melbourne," 26 Sep. 2018 Seems like there's a happy medium somewhere here... Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Kim Kardashian Had a Major Wardrobe Malfunction at Her Christmas Eve Party," 28 Dec. 2018 Amazon’s initial promise of a new office and 50,000 high-paying jobs—since divided between the winning cities, New York and Crystal City, Virginia—created a media frenzy (ahem, hi) and an outpouring of quirky, attention-getting bids. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Amazon HQ2 bids: The weird ways cities wanted to woo Bezos," 27 Dec. 2018 On a lighter note, abundant Jupiter will support you in a fellow fire sign, bringing opportunity in travel, education and media throughout 2019. Rebecca Gordon, Harper's BAZAAR, "Find Out What 2019 Has In Store For Your Zodiac Sign," 27 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

For these moves, try starting with a medium-weight set of dumbbells, like 8-10 pounds, and increasing the weight as your get stronger. Amy Marturana, SELF, "17 Dumbbell Exercises That Work Your Butt," 6 Jan. 2019 For the most part, these frame rates line up with desktop APUs, which are definitely in the 720p range at low to medium settings. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "AMD announces new mobile Ryzen chips and finally gets into Chromebooks," 6 Jan. 2019 The calming contraption comes in two sizes: a 5-pound option for small and medium dogs under 50 pounds, and a 7-pound version for larger animals. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "This Crazy Popular Weighted Blanket for Dogs Is Almost Sold Out on Amazon," 4 Dec. 2018 Inside of this machine is just about enough to power through the latest PC games on low to medium graphical settings at playable frame rates. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "At $599, HP’s gaming laptop is an even better deal for casual gamers," 18 Dec. 2018 Arianespace has had an agreement in place with the Russian government since 2011 to fly the Soyuz booster as a medium-class rocket that supports payloads sized between the larger (and more expensive) Ariane 5 rocket and the smaller Vega. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Tuesday may deliver a triple-header of big launches to cap 2018," 17 Dec. 2018 Add vanilla or other flavoring (and gel food coloring if desired), and mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Alison Roman, The Seattle Times, "‘We are all connected by cookies’: A tribe with a bond stronger than royal icing," 12 Dec. 2018 Place the duck skin side down in a medium hot pan and begin to render the duck until golden brown. Talia Abbas, SELF, "How to Throw a Laid-Back Holiday Party at Home, from the Team at A Summer Day Cafe," 6 Dec. 2018 Using an electric mixer, beat cream in a large bowl until medium peaks form. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "100+ Easy Dessert Recipes," 29 Nov. 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

16 Jan 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 \
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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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).


a complex dispute or argument

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