mid·​dling | \ ˈmid-liŋ How to pronounce middling (audio) , -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 \ ˈmid-​liŋ-​lē How to pronounce middling (audio) , -​lən-​ \ adverb

Synonyms for middling

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of middling in a Sentence

Adjective 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 The fights have lasted a total of nine rounds against middling opposition. Manouk Akopyan, Los Angeles Times, "Next stage of Ryan Garcia’s career could come after Luke Campbell fight," 1 Jan. 2021 Kelly is a middling reliever with a powerful, but erratic arm. Matt Young, Chron, "The 10 Houston sports moments that made 2020 even worse," 29 Dec. 2020 Frustrations with the Quakes’ middling results in recent years, combined with other teams’ potential interest in signing him as a free agent, could mean Wondolowski bolts for another club in 2021. Nick Eilerson, SFChronicle.com, "Will Chris Wondolowski leave San Jose Earthquakes in 2021? Three key factors," 12 Dec. 2020 Yoo also feels that the government’s middling approach to social distancing, which has targeted specific business activities while keeping the broader part of the economy open, has put an unfair financial burden on businesses like hers. Bloomberg.com, "After Early Success, South Korea Sleepwalks Into Virus Crisis," 26 Dec. 2020 Some middling quarterbacks -- Purdue’s David Blough, Iowa’s Nate Stanley -- have had big games while upsetting the Buckeyes in recent years. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Can Northwestern football hang with the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday? 5 players who could give the Wildcats a chance," 16 Dec. 2020 Defensively, the Lions were a middling unit throughout Patricia's tenure, ranking near the bottom of the league in scoring, total and rushing defense. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Lions' Trey Flowers: Matt Patricia 'obviously' deserves 2nd opportunity to be head coach," 11 Dec. 2020 Sunday's stunning 43-6 breakdown at Atlanta evoked memories of the 2019 Silver and Black, another crew that started 6-4 before a 34-3 beatdown from the middling Jets sent them into an unrecoverable tailspin. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "7 NFL teams positioned to be playoff spoilers in 2020," 5 Dec. 2020 The Broncos provided the middling Raiders defense its best fantasy performance of the season and helped the Saints DST continue a double-digit streak. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "Fantasy football lineups for Week 13: Start Kirk Cousins and sit Tyler Boyd," 3 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There were excuses for last season, but this time around, there will be no acceptance of middling, muddling mediocrity. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Steve Kerr’s most challenging season? No, these Warriors will be his most fun," 19 Dec. 2020 Josh Richardson, in exchange for Seth Curry, appears primed to be a starter who upgrades the Mavericks’ middling defense. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "Mavs mailbag: Discussing Luka Doncic’s championship goals, Dallas’ salary cap future and more," 2 Dec. 2020 There are a lot of NHL teams making a lot of changes because of injuries to their starting goalies this season — and not just the ceremonies to honor middling milestones. Jimmy Golen, The Denver Post, "NHL teams realize backup goaltender is important position," 22 Jan. 2020 Last season’s middling, inconsistent Broncos run defense wound up finishing 16th in the NFL at 111.4 rushing yards per game allowed. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Broncos Insider: With Jurrell Casey added and Bradley Chubb healthy again, Denver’s run defense will be formidable," 5 Apr. 2020 Alas, prognosticators around the internet expect the Lions to have another middling, albeit better season after finishing 3-12-1 in 2019. Chris Thomas, Detroit Free Press, "2020 Detroit Lions schedule predictions: Here's what experts are forecasting," 8 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for middling

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

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Statistics for middling

Last Updated

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Middling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/middling. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for middling


How to pronounce middling (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of middling

: of average size or quality

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