me·​di·​um | \ ˈmē-dē-əm How to pronounce medium (audio) \
plural mediums or media\ ˈmē-​dē-​ə How to pronounce medium (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
e plural mediums : an individual held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits
f : 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 The result was something new for him, a hybrid medium of paper to digital to plastic. Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times, "A formerly homeless artist made a gift to Los Angeles. What happened next was a surprise," 4 Apr. 2021 Police described two suspects: a man who was possibly in his 20s and approximately 6-foot-1, who wore a white hoodie and a white face mask, blue jeans and white sneakers; and a woman with medium to dark skin and long, straight hair. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, "French bulldog stolen at gunpoint in Florida, police say," 3 Apr. 2021 This medium roast is so named after the Three Sisters Mountains and is rated highly among coffee aficionados. Fiona Tapp, CNN Underscored, "Everything you need to create a coffee station in your home office," 2 Apr. 2021 But other attributes draw those of us who regard records as the preferred playback medium, and that’s the sound. Robert Ross, Robb Report, "Review: You Might Not Be a True Audiophile Without the State-of-the-Art Ramar Record Brush," 2 Apr. 2021 Cover and cook over a low-medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed, the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through. Star Tribune, "Sunday supper: Spanish Chicken and Rice," 2 Apr. 2021 McQuilkin thought poetry was the perfect medium for that and challenged Leff to write a few poems., "The poetry of David Leff: Exploring connections between people and with the natural world," 1 Apr. 2021 To find out, her postdoc Oliver Maddocks methodically removed various amino acids from cancer cells’ culture medium. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Special diets might boost the power of drugs to vanquish cancers," 1 Apr. 2021 Add medium-to-fine ground coffee into the chamber, then add very hot water and stir. Cassidy Olsen, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Espresso at Home," 1 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Within those categories, there are small programs (25 hours or less of observation time), medium programs (more than 25 to 75 hours) and large programs (more than 75 hours). Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "The James Webb Space Telescope’s First Year of Extraordinary Science Has Been Revealed," 7 Apr. 2021 In a medium pan on low heat, add enough neutral oil to cover the bottom in a thin film. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, "David Kinch Shows You a Foolproof Way to Cook Duck Breast at Home," 7 Apr. 2021 Beat together on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and very creamy, about 3 minutes. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Let fruits take the cake," 6 Apr. 2021 In the medium division Cassidy Cessna and Charleston garnered first. Maryanna Skowronksi,, "Keating’s four wins highlight 98th anniversary and running of Elkridge-Harford Point-to-Point races," 6 Apr. 2021 Combined with West Coast, a medium bronze shade, and Best Coast, a reddish deep bronze, that’s five shades of the coveted product to choose from. Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, "This Tower 28 bronzer sold out in one day — and now it’s back in 3 new shades," 6 Apr. 2021 Isuzu has long been a manufacturer of medium duty trucks. Richard Bishop, Forbes, "Making Redundancy Cool: Gatik And Isuzu Partner To Develop Level 4 Capable Medium Duty Trucks," 6 Apr. 2021 Everyone, including those who choose not to get vaccinated, is included in another deal: A free Original Glazed doughnut and a medium coffee available every Monday, no purchase necessary, through May 24. Chris Perkins,, "Krispy Kreme has two new Oreo-themed doughnuts. And they’re available in South Florida for a limited time.," 6 Apr. 2021 The settlement calls for the release of low- to medium-risk inmates who are within nine months of their release date and eligible for certain good-time credits, according to a court document filed Tuesday. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Underground proms, popcorn problems, lobster relief: News from around our 50 states," 25 Mar. 2021

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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Learn More about medium

Statistics for medium

Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Medium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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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 medium (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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