mid·​dle·​man | \ ˈmi-dᵊl-ˌman How to pronounce middleman (audio) \

Definition of middleman

: an intermediary or agent between two parties especially : a dealer, agent, or company intermediate between the producer of goods and the retailer or consumer

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of middleman in a Sentence

The Internet helps consumers save money by buying products directly from companies and eliminating the middleman. We've cut out the middleman and can reduce prices for our customers. He acted as the middleman in the talks between labor and management.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

President Donald Trump is withdrawing a plan to ease the financial bite of costly medications for people on Medicare by letting them receive rebates that drugmakers now pay insurers and middlemen, the White House said Thursday. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, chicagotribune.com, "Trump drops once-touted Medicare drug rebate plan," 11 July 2019 Lopez Obrador blamed these problems on corruption among government and private-sector middlemen, who pocketed cash meant to serve children. Luis Gómez Romero, The Conversation, "Mexican president López Obrador has a woman problem," 10 July 2019 An alleged middleman, Alberto Rodriguez Mota, was captured Friday by the Dominican navy, according to police. Alex Sundby, CBS News, "Alleged mastermind in David Ortiz shooting claims in video he wasn't involved in botched murder-for-hire plot," 2 July 2019 Its pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, pitched the original cryptocurrency to the world a decade ago as a way for people to exchange value directly, without the intervention of banks or other middlemen. Paul Vigna, WSJ, "Facebook Says Libra Can Change the World. It Needs to Convince Users.," 26 June 2019 OfferUp is similar to Craigslist.org, acting as a online middleman hooking up local buyers and sellers of new and used goods. Doreen Christensen, sun-sentinel.com, "Thrifting with a twist: Goodwill now posting goods online on OfferUp," 13 June 2019 To operate today’s machines, humans being need a middleman of sorts, a physical control system manipulated by hands, fingers, and feet. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "DARPA Wants Soldiers To Control Machines With Their Minds," 22 May 2019 One of the plaintiffs, Jeffrey Neufeld, who lives in Connecticut, contends that Cigna directed him to order his supplies through a middleman who jacked up the prices. Marshall Allen, Ars Technica, "You snooze, you lose: Insurers make the old adage literally true," 21 Nov. 2018 According to the criminal complaints, Montes, Flores and Alvarez were middleman meth dealers who acquired the drugs from an unnamed source. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "Feds bust alleged meth trafficking ring in Concord, but secret DEA source fails to get meeting with main supplier," 11 June 2019

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

1677, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about middleman

Statistics for middleman

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for middleman

The first known use of middleman was in 1677

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for middleman



English Language Learners Definition of middleman

: a person or company that buys goods from a producer and sells them to someone else
: a person who helps two people or groups to deal with and communicate with each other when they are not able or willing to do it themselves

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on middleman

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


to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!