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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Wily middlemen such as Nader and Broidy smelled an opportunity to spread their influence — and, more importantly, make money. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "Saudis and Emiratis face the pitfalls of courting Trump," 23 May 2018 The recent scandal about the rich—and in a few instances the famous—getting their children into colleges through payoffs made to an oily middleman has aroused the nation’s ire. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "The College Admissions Game Brings Out the Snob in Everyone," 19 Mar. 2019 The collaboration will likely pressure profits for middlemen in the health-care supply chain. Bloomberg.com, "+1 212 318 2000," 30 Jan. 2018 Pinilla, acting as the middleman, stayed in touch with the politician. Jay Weaver, miamiherald, "He was Colombia's anti-corruption chief. Now, he's facing bribery charges in Miami.," 19 May 2018 The film is a largely cinema verité study of a pressure cooker world flush with ultra-rich buyers, high-on-the-hog middlemen, and artists anointed with the Midas touch. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "The Price of Everything,," 18 Oct. 2018 Meanwhile, Amazon was also developing a new way of doing business that required fewer middlemen and removed the risk of buying inventory. Spencer Soper, latimes.com, "Amazon began automating warehouses a while ago. Now its machines get desk jobs too," 13 June 2018 The company’s role as a middleman hired by insurers and employers to negotiate discounts from drugmakers has been under fire from everyone from the head of the Food and Drug Administration to short-sellers. Cristin Flanagan, Bloomberg.com, "Cigna’s $54 Billion Buy Seen as ‘Best Case’ for Drug Middleman," 8 Mar. 2018 PBMs' slice of the costs and role as a middleman is little understood. Jayne O'donnell, USA TODAY, "Health care deals could make you healthier but may not save you money," 14 Jan. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of middleman

1677, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for middleman

Last Updated

6 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for middleman

The first known use of middleman was in 1677

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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

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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 speak slightingly about or to degrade

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