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

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

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 By all accounts, the New England Revolution didn’t bring their A-game to Gillette Stadium on Saturday, a sultry evening that pitted coach Brad Friedel’s club against middling D.C. United. Owen Pence, BostonGlobe.com, "Revolution hold off D.C. United," 1 July 2018 After graduating from Capistrano Valley High School with middling grades, Vardakostas headed to nearby Saddleback College. Lauren Smiley, WIRED, "The Mission to Build the Ultimate Burger Bot," 21 June 2018 Thus far, workers’ earnings have yet to break out from their middling pace. Don Lee, latimes.com, "Fed raises interest rates and predicts faster pace of future increases," 14 June 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

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for middling

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

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English Language Learners Definition of middling

: of average size or quality

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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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

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