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 middlingly (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 Jack of all trades The Titans have been brutalized by tight ends all season – both great and middling alike. John Holler, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "NFL Prop Bet Payday - Week 13," 1 Dec. 2019 That left Odom with a 25-25 record, a perfectly middling mark after Gary Pinkel’s successful run. Dave Skretta, Arkansas Online, "Missouri fires Barry Odom day following win at Arkansas," 30 Nov. 2019 Only a middling 7-of-12 from the free-throw line was less than excellent. Stephen Means, cleveland, "No. 16 Ohio State basketball makes a statement in 76-51 win over No. 10 Villanova," 14 Nov. 2019 Don't bury the Bolts (4-5) in the middling AFC just yet. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "32 things we learned from Week 9 of the 2019 NFL season," 4 Nov. 2019 When, on the other hand, aspirational rhetoric is paired with middling financial performance, there is rarely a happy ending. David Gelles, New York Times, "The Week the C.E.O.s Got Smacked," 28 Sep. 2019 Iowa has relied on a trio of tailbacks with middling success. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Special teams played a critical role in UW's victory over Iowa last season and could again on Saturday," 7 Nov. 2019 The marquee is occupied by Nebraska and Purdue, two middling teams who won’t draw in the casual viewer. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Big Ten football predictions: Michigan, Illinois expected to continue surges," 31 Oct. 2019 Before Sunday’s fixture, Wolves were a middling team — 13th in the league. Thomas Hindle, USA TODAY, "Manchester City gets upset again, falling further behind in Premier League title race," 6 Oct. 2019

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 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Middling.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/middlingly?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=m&file=middli02. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on middling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for middling

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


very cautious or careful

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