middle distance


Definition of middle distance

1 : a part of a pictorial representation or scene between the foreground and the background
2 : any footrace distance usually from 800 to 1500 meters or from 880 yards to one mile

Examples of middle distance in a Sentence

As I looked out over the water, a small boat appeared in the middle distance.
Recent Examples on the Web In some pieces, a ghostly cube will appear to hover in the middle distance. Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Apr. 2021 In the middle distance loomed the San Francisco skyline and neat rows of avenues, each sloping steeply to the Bay. Scott Wilson, Washington Post, 11 Dec. 2020 Over his mask, his gaze drifts to the middle distance, but then regularly returns to his conversational partner – the anchor of his attention. Anna Tarnow, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Nov. 2020 Off in the middle distance, two men stand near a street lamp, watching the mayhem, never moving, like Beckett characters, thinking who knows what. Sam Anderson, New York Times, 5 Nov. 2020 Schildmeyer, who developed his speed as a middle distance specialist in track, was hanging with a large pack of runners through the first mile of his heat, which was the last race of the day. Rick Armstrong, chicagotribune.com, 31 Oct. 2020 Often shot from a middle distance, with occasional cutaways to the masked audience in their sad, discrete clumps, the cast too often seems broad and unfocused, with more energy than intensity. Jesse Green, New York Times, 4 Sep. 2020 Surely even medieval peasants sometimes stared into the middle distance and sighed over their barley pottage, longing for the next village fête day and a bit of carnivalesque mayhem. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 20 Aug. 2020 The junior middle distance runner was the only returning Metro state champion after recording a stunning 800-meter win as sophomore. Mitch Stephens, SFChronicle.com, 16 May 2020

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

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for middle distance

Time Traveler

The first known use of middle distance was in 1803

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Statistics for middle distance

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Middle distance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/middle%20distance. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for middle distance

middle distance


English Language Learners Definition of middle distance

: the area in a scene or view that is neither very close nor very far away : an area between the foreground and the background
: a racing distance that is neither short nor long and that is usually between 800 to 1,500 meters


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