mid·​dling | \ ˈmid-liŋ, -lən\

Definition of middling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of middle, medium, or moderate size, degree, or quality
3 : of, relating to, or being a middle class



Definition of middling (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : any of various commodities of intermediate size, quality, or position
2 middlings plural in form but singular or plural in construction : a granular product of grain milling especially : a wheat milling by-product used in animal feeds

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Other Words from middling


middling adverb
middlingly \ -​lē \ adverb

Synonyms for middling

Synonyms: Adjective

average, intermediate, mean, median, medium, middle, midsize (also midsized), moderate, modest

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Examples of middling in a Sentence


tired of the city but not particularly interested in small-town life, he moved to a suburb of middling size was disappointed in the renowned historian's latest book, which is only middling

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But with the exception of rare historical pivot points, the choice is between conflict or tension, on the one hand, and a middling, problematic compromise, on the other. Thanassis Cambanis, BostonGlobe.com, "Stop trying to fix everything," 16 Feb. 2018 The stock price had been slumping, and longtime CEO Jeff Immelt had just stepped down after a frustratingly middling 16-year tenure. Thomas Gryta And Ted Mann, WSJ, "GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out," 14 Dec. 2018 Two other new releases arrived to middling returns. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "Less-Than-‘Fantastic’ Start for Harry Potter Spinoff," 18 Nov. 2018 The team also robbed the Marlins of righty Luis Castillo and his electric arm in exchange for the middling Dan Straily last year. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "The Reds Fired Manager Bryan Price, But That Won't Save the Perpetually Rebuilding Franchise," 19 Apr. 2018 Jason Riley uses New York as the poster child for high spending in education with only middling test scores. WSJ, "Teachers’ Input Vs. Output," 6 May 2018 But getting the entire line to round into form during the spring is critical, as Temple needs to improve on last year’s middling numbers in the running game. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "American Athletic teams start chase of Central Florida at spring practice," 26 Mar. 2018 Miami's interest in Melo finds a team aware of its middling situation trying to find a bridge to relevance, any bridge, even a temporary one, even one that is creaking a bit. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Melo to Miami? How Heat’s interest in Carmelo Anthony reveals one team’s desperation," 11 July 2018 Those who knew him then describe Benson as an average student in school and a middling athlete, the kind of kid who could blend in easily. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "Tom Benson, hometown kid: 1 of 300," 23 Feb. 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near middling

Middle Welsh

Middle White






Statistics for middling

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for middling

The first known use of middling was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for middling



English Language Learners Definition of middling

: of average size or quality

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More from Merriam-Webster on middling

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with middling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for middling

Spanish Central: Translation of middling

Nglish: Translation of middling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about middling

Comments on middling

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


to gather or build up little by little

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