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 Reduce heat to medium, add grape leaves and simmer 5 minutes. Yasmin Khan, WSJ, "Stuffing Grape Leaves: A Recipe to Soothe Any Stressed-Out Cook," 12 May 2021 Reduce the heat by turning all the burners to medium—this should result in a temperature of about 450F. Place the food directly on clean cooking grates and grill as recipe directs—it’s that easy. Elizabeth Karmel, Forbes, "Taming The Flame: A Grilling Refresher On Controlling The Heat," 10 May 2021 Lower the heat to medium and let simmer for around 8 minutes, stirring often. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Eid Al-Fitr: The sweet holiday of festive foods," 7 May 2021 Flip chicken, reduce heat to medium, and cook until very dark brown and chicken registers 160degrees, 4 to 7 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking. Star Tribune, "Sunday supper: Blackened Chicken with Pineapple-Cucumber Salsa," 7 May 2021 In crowds or large-to-medium-sized gatherings with strangers, for example, everyone needs to keep their mask up. Molly Longman,, "The CDC Just Announced New, Kind Of Confusing Face Mask Rules — Here’s What It All Means," 27 Apr. 2021 Like the coat, the collar ranges in size from extra small to medium. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, "Fendi Unveils a New Luxury Travel Collection for Your Dog," 26 Apr. 2021 Reduce the heat to medium, or as needed, to maintain a gentle simmer. Washington Post, "Misir wot is the spicy, one-pot lentil dish we’ll never tire of," 21 Apr. 2021 When the linguine is about 3 minutes from being done, add the heavy cream to the butter broth and turn the heat to medium. Christian Reynoso, San Francisco Chronicle, "This creamy pasta adds a whole chopped Meyer lemon for a burst of spring," 16 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In a medium mixing bowl, combine onions and salt, toss well, and let sit 15 minutes. Gregory Gourdet, WSJ, "Slow-cooked Salmon With Ti Malice Sauce," 13 May 2021 Layered and felt in the mouth a rye and cereal chew with a medium finish and spice on the end. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, "The Top Rye Whiskeys According To New York International Spirits Competition," 13 May 2021 Use slow, gentle strokes and light to medium pressure. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "What is gua sha? Everything you need to know," 13 May 2021 Fill a medium pot about three-quarters full with water, and bring to a boil. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Chicken lo mein with spicy peanut sauce is a winner for dinner," 12 May 2021 Place the dripper on top of the mug, fill it with medium-ground coffee beans, and then place the diffuser lid on top of the dripper. Anna Rahmanan, Bon Appétit, "Ditch Paper Filters Forever With This Stunning Pour-Over Coffee Maker," 11 May 2021 The Coast Guard also has a medium icebreaker, the Healy. Tyler Olson, Fox News, "Biden admin faces lack of icebreakers, increasing Russian and Chinese threats in Arctic," 9 May 2021 In medium saucepan add cream, half-and-half, and sugar. Krissa Rossbund, Better Homes & Gardens, "Boho-Style Tableware and Global Flavors Combine for a Stylish Summer Get-Together," 7 May 2021 Sunspire' has long-lasting medium yellow blooms, which are produced later in the season. Southern Living, "We Love the Yellow Flowering Magnolias for Small Yards," 7 May 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

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Medium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 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)

Comments on medium

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