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Synonym Chooser

How is the word median distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of median are average, mean, and norm. While all these words mean "something that represents a middle point," median applies to the value that represents the point at which there are as many instances above as there are below.

average of a group of persons earning 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10 dollars an hour is 6 dollars, whereas the median is 5 dollars

When would average be a good substitute for median?

The meanings of average and median largely overlap; however, average is the quotient obtained by dividing the sum total of a set of figures by the number of figures.

scored an average of 85 on tests

When can mean be used instead of median?

The words mean and median can be used in similar contexts, but mean may be the simple average or it may represent value midway between two extremes.

a high of 70° and a low of 50° give a mean of 60°

When might norm be a better fit than median?

In some situations, the words norm and median are roughly equivalent. However, norm means the average of performance of a significantly large group, class, or grade.

scores about the norm for fifth grade arithmetic

Thesaurus Entries Near median

Cite this Entry

“Median.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on median

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