middle name


Definition of middle name 

1 : a name between one's first name and surname

2 : a term that is particularly apt to denote a person's qualities or affinities patience is her middle name

Examples of middle name in a Sentence

President John F. Kennedy's middle name was “Fitzgerald.”

Recent Examples on the Web

Denhollander, a full-time activist, named her fourth child Elora Renee Joy, after Munford’s middle name Renee. Jason Schmidt, Glamour, "The Army of Women Who Took Down Larry Nassar," 30 Oct. 2018 The brightest lights of my life, my two daughters whose middle names are Leah and Rae. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Leah + Rae Is the Baby Brand We Want for Ourselves," 19 Sep. 2018 The Carlons changed their daughter’s first and middle names in an attempt to get her a new Social Security number. Yuka Hayashi, WSJ, "New on Parents’ To-Do List: Checking Children’s Credit History," 28 Aug. 2018 Xavier Xcel Lightfoot's cool middle name captures how the first African-American valedictorian ever at Pius XI Catholic High School approaches life and success. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: First black valedictorian at Pius inspires a clothing shop to give him a free suit for Presidential Scholars trip," 19 June 2018 All my life my dad told me my middle name means She Who Received the Message. Tess Kornfeld, Glamour, "We Asked Maya Rudolph: Would You Rather Give Up Sex or Booze?," 21 Sep. 2018 But since then, women have established the options of hyphenation, keeping their maiden name as a middle name, or retaining their original surname altogether. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "More Newlywed Couples Are Combining Their Last Names—Would You?," 10 Aug. 2018 Fun fact: her older sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale also goes by one of her middle names. Alex Warner, Marie Claire, "Who Is Lady Jane Fellowes? Everything You Need to Know About Princess Diana's Sister," 19 May 2018 Princess Beatrice would also go on to receive Elizabeth as one of her middle names, as would the Queen's great-granddaughters Louise, Isla, and Charlotte. Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "Zara Phillips Wasn't Actually Named by Her Parents, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'middle name.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of middle name

1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about middle name

Share middle name

Statistics for middle name

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for middle name

The first known use of middle name was in 1835

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for middle name

middle name


English Language Learners Definition of middle name

: a name between a person's first name and family name

: a word that accurately describes a person's qualities

More from Merriam-Webster on middle name

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about middle name

Comments on middle name

What made you want to look up middle name? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!