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 1) 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

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?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Good’s lawsuit — filed in Hamilton County Superior Court on Jan. 28 — alleges Byer made defamatory, malicious and false statements about her in the media. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Hamilton County treasurer candidate will run against boss who fired her," 9 Mar. 2020 Cover and let cook over medium-high heat, 15 minutes. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, "Deeply flavorful, caramelized cabbage is a dish to please vegetarians and meat lovers alike," 6 Mar. 2020 Those remarks made ripples at the time in Indian media. al, "Will Alabama see ‘multi-billion-dollar’ steel project?," 5 Mar. 2020 Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Paul Stephen,, "Recipe: Roasted Stuffed Whole Cabbage," 4 Mar. 2020 While the character of Specter definitely helps add more visible LGBTQ representation in media, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Disney and Pixar's "Onward" Reportedly Gets Censored in Russia Over LGBTQ Character," 3 Mar. 2020 This isn't the first time Transform has made the rounds in national media. Briana Rice,, "Transform Cincy, clothing nonprofit for transgender youth, featured on 'Today'," 3 Mar. 2020 The coronavirus and its potential spread to the United States has been covered extensively in the media over the past several days. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Health officials set coronavirus preparations for large events in The Woodlands," 2 Mar. 2020 Maryland didn’t report any money for media rights, but instead reported $42,241,886 from conference distributions. Rich Exner, cleveland, "Topped by Ohio State, Big Ten sports approaches $2 billion a year in spending," 25 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, "Spring Pasta with Salmon, Peas, and Dill," 11 Feb. 2020 Heat oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Journal Sentinel Staff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Comfort foods for an uncomfortable time: the era of coronavirus," 24 Mar. 2020 Simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour, until chicken is cooked through and carrots are soft., "Recipe: Chicken and Dumplings," 23 Mar. 2020 In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Lisa Drayer, CNN, "Have to cook from home for the first time? Here's what you need to know (plus your first recipe!)," 21 Mar. 2020 Cook the eggplant over medium heat with the 2 tablespoons oil for about 4 minutes per side. Janelle Bitker,, "Meet Oakland’s 16-year-old chef prodigy Rahanna Bisseret Martinez," 20 Mar. 2020 Their ideal color is golden brown, which should take about 20 minutes over medium heat. David Farkas, cleveland, "St. Patrick’s Day eats: 2 easy Irish recipes to whip up while you’re hunkered down at home," 16 Mar. 2020 In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 cup heavy cream to a simmer. Dallas News, "Time to bake: How to create the ultimate gluten-free chocolate cake," 16 Mar. 2020 In a large stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the onion and pepper until tender. Brad Fenson, Field & Stream, "5 Festive Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day Featuring Wild Game (and Beer!)," 13 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for medium

Time Traveler

The first known use of medium was in 1589

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Statistics for medium

Last Updated

12 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Medium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for medium


How to pronounce medium (audio)

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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Comments on medium

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