middle

adjective
mid·​dle | \ ˈmi-dᵊl \

Definition of middle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : equally distant from the extremes : medial, central the middle house in the row
2 : being at neither extreme : intermediate

3 capitalized

a : constituting a division intermediate between those prior and later or upper and lower Middle Paleozoic
b : constituting a period of a language or literature intermediate between one called Old and one called New or Modern Middle Dutch
4 of a verb form or voice : typically asserting that a person or thing both performs and is affected by the action represented

middle

noun

Definition of middle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a middle part, point, or position
2 : the central portion of the human body : waist
3 : the position of being among or in the midst of something in the middle of the crowd
4 : something intermediate between extremes : mean
5 : the center of an offensive or defensive formation especially : the area between the second baseman and the shortstop
middle of nowhere
: an extremely remote and isolated place ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere

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Examples of middle in a Sentence

Adjective

during the century's middle decades High temperatures today should be in the middle 80s. Franklin D. Roosevelt's middle initial stood for “Delano.”

Noun

A good essay will have a clear beginning, middle, and end. He stood exactly in the middle of the room. She opened the book to the middle and began to read. The car stopped in the middle of the road. The house should be finished by the middle of next summer. The beginning and ending of the movie were good, but the middle was pretty boring. She put her arms around his middle. He tied the sash around his middle.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Jamal Lyon, Smollett’s character, is the gay, middle son of Empire Entertainment founder Lucious Lyon and Cookie Lyon, played by Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, respectively. Don Babwin, The Seattle Times, "‘Empire’ cast member alleges homophobic attack in Chicago," 30 Jan. 2019 Baseball pundits once believed a middle infielder was necessarily a player of slight build who slapped singles to the opposite field. Colin Fleming, WSJ, "Jackie Robinson, the Complete Ballplayer," 30 Jan. 2019 The actor has been on Empire since 2015 and portrays Jamal Lyon, the middle son of hip-hop tycoon Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson). Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hollywood Supports Jussie Smollett Following Racist and Homophobic Attack," 29 Jan. 2019 After the last note was sung, the lights illuminated to reveal the cast lined up with Miranda in the middle—hand over his heart and tears in his eyes. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "Lin-Manuel Miranda Received a Standing Ovation at Hamilton’s Opening Night in Puerto Rico," 14 Jan. 2019 This is coming after years of pretty middle-of-the-road street style. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Less Is More! No, More Is More! The 2 Sides of Street Style in 2018," 19 Dec. 2018 Cuomo was more of a middle-of-the-road pragmatic candidate before having to face off against Nixon. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "Cynthia Nixon May Have Lost to Andrew Cuomo in New York's Primary, But the Push Left Lives On," 14 Sep. 2018 Scott Springer on the Kings Knights, a middle-of-the-pack ECC team that could make a tournament run. Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Recruiting Trail: ECC trio headline commit-heavy weekend," 9 July 2018 My group included a baby in her mother’s arms, young kids on scooters, teens and young, middle-aged and retirement-aged adults. Susan Keaton, Naperville Sun, "Keaton: Pride Parade was a glorious experience – why not bring it to Naperville?," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Plenty to like defensively, as well, with Jordon Scott and Troy Dye up the middle and cornerbacks Thomas Graham and Deommodore Lenoir on the edge. Jon Wilner Pac-12 Hotline, The Seattle Times, "Way-too-early Pac-12 football predictions: Can Washington rule the North once again?," 23 Jan. 2019 Some districts, such as Torrance Unified near Los Angeles, only served crackers, milk, and a fruit or vegetable to middle and high school students without money in their lunch accounts. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "How states and crowdfunding are tackling the growing problem of student lunch debt," 27 Dec. 2018 Kass asked the middle and high school girls on Saturday afternoon, according to Vanity Fair. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "Michelle Obama's Book Tour Included a Surprise Lunchtime Chat With a Group of Teens," 3 Dec. 2018 United ended up in the middle of the pack, in a tie with JetBlue for fifth place. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "The Best and Worst U.S. Airlines of 2018," 16 Jan. 2019 These stars form two binary pairs, one right in the middle of the system and one orbiting billions of miles away. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Astronomers Discover Bizarre Quadruple Star System," 15 Jan. 2019 This is a legitimately difficult problem, but building extra miles of wall in the middle of nowhere won’t ameliorate it. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The shutdown is intractable because Trump’s wall is ridiculous and Republicans know it," 8 Jan. 2019 While on vacay in the Bahamas, sisters Madison and Alex each find themselves in the middle of a love triangle. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Which Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Movie You Should Watch According to Your Zodiac Sign," 2 Jan. 2019 Since turbos are powered by exhaust gases, putting a turbo in the middle of a hot vee gives it the shortest path from the exhaust valves, minimizing lag. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Lake X: Mercury Marine's Secret Boat Testing Site," 27 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'middle.' 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 middle

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for middle

Adjective

Middle English middel, from Old English; akin to Old English midde

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Statistics for middle

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for middle

The first known use of middle was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for middle

middle

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of middle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: equally distant from the ends or sides : halfway between two points
: in a state or place between two things or people

middle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of middle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a middle part, point, or position
: the middle part of a person's body

middle

adjective
mid·​dle | \ ˈmi-dᵊl \

Kids Definition of middle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : equally distant from the ends : central the middle aisle
2 : being at neither extreme : halfway between two opposite states or conditions of middle size

middle

noun

Kids Definition of middle (Entry 2 of 2)

: the part, point, or position that is equally distant from the ends or opposite sides : center the middle of the room

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More from Merriam-Webster on middle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with middle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for middle

Spanish Central: Translation of middle

Nglish: Translation of middle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of middle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on middle

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