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mid·​dle-of-the-road ˈmi-dᵊl-əv-ṯẖə-ˈrōd How to pronounce middle-of-the-road (audio)
: standing for or following a course of action midway between extremes
especially : being neither liberal nor conservative in politics
middle-of-the-roader noun
middle-of-the-roadism noun

middle of the road

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noun phrase

: a course of action or a standpoint midway between extremes

Examples of middle-of-the-road in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
This is an excellent middle-of-the-road boot for a beginner-to-intermediate downhill skier who doesn’t need a super soft boot, but isn’t in the market for a hard-charging model. Maggie Slepian, Travel + Leisure, 28 Nov. 2023 Oregon has settled on a middle-of-the-road approach, requiring neither a doctor’s supervision nor a specific medical diagnosis, but providing for strict oversight of supply and use. Mike Baker, New York Times, 23 Oct. 2023 By contrast, middle-of-the-road and progressive sources were fragmented. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2023 The Aaron-Rodgers-and-Brett-Favre-less and seemingly middle-of-the-road Packers? Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune, 10 Sep. 2023 That makes Utah a pretty middle-of-the-road state in terms of dog ownership: 33rd in the U.S. in terms of the percentage of households that have dogs, 31st in dogs per household. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Sep. 2023 Key safety features include: Standard rear parking sensors Available multi-view camera system Available blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert Warranty and Maintenance Coverage Chevy provides all of its models with a middle-of-the-road limited and powertrain warranty. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 28 Aug. 2023 But where the 2021 version catered to a Republican base fired up about schoolhouse issues such as critical race theory, transgender bathroom privileges and pandemic mask policies, this year’s edition is decidedly more middle-of-the-road. Karina Elwood, Washington Post, 21 Aug. 2023 Houston, who had taken some criticism for the big middle-of-the-road pop sound of her first two albums populated by songs chosen by her label, wanted to add more elements of contemporary R&B and soul to her music. cleveland, 9 Aug. 2023
Noun phrase
Logs that were placed in the road in an apparent vigilante effort to stop more RVs from parking have simply been pushed into the middle of the road. Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023 Most of these ballet flats are over $100, which is more middle of the road in terms of ballet flat prices. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 28 July 2023 On March 30, someone came into the Hopkinton police station to report picking up a chainsaw that had fallen out of a white Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and was sitting in the middle of the road (police took the chainsaw and logged it as found property). Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, 21 July 2023 According to a police report obtained by USA TODAY Sports, Pittsburgh police say Huggins was driving a black SUV on Friday night around 8:30 p.m. when officers observed his vehicle stopped in the middle of the road blocking traffic. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 18 June 2023 Here’s the lead question for the GOP: Will conservative interest groups and outraged constituents begin to light up the phones at the Capitol, tearing into middle of the road Republicans for supporting the plan? Chad Pergram, Fox News, 30 May 2023 The Craftsman is a middle of the road machine in terms of its bagging capability. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 12 May 2023 His foot stays on the gas, gunning it toward the middle of the road. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 8 May 2023 Once, one came to a stop in the middle of the road and blocked traffic for 15 minutes. Heather Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'middle-of-the-road.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1894, in the meaning defined above

Noun Phrase

1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of middle-of-the-road was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near middle-of-the-road

middle of the road


middle oil

Cite this Entry

“Middle-of-the-road.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/middle-of-the-road. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: standing for or following a course of action midway between extremes
especially : being neither liberal nor conservative in politics
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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