me·​di·​um | \ ˈmē-dē-əm How to pronounce medium (audio) \
plural mediums or media\ ˈmē-​dē-​ə How to pronounce medium (audio) \

Definition of medium

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something in a middle position These shirts are all mediums.
b : a middle condition or degree : mean Look for a happy medium.
2 : a means of effecting or conveying something: such as
a plural usually media
(1) : a channel or system of communication, information, or entertainment — compare mass medium
(2) : a publication or broadcast that carries advertising
(3) : a mode of artistic expression or communication as his literary medium he has chosen a biographical form— Ernest Newman
(4) : something (such as a magnetic disk) on which information may be stored
b media plural : digital audio or video files available for playback or streaming … the free video broadcasts can be downloaded to portable media players from a number of popular pod[cast] and vodcast Web sites.— Steve Miller Apple's current keyboards can use the function keys … for alternate functions such as controlling volume, screen brightness, media playback …— Dan Frakes
c : material or technical means of artistic expression (such as paint and canvas, sculptural stone, or literary or musical form)
d plural mediums : an individual held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits
e(1) : a substance regarded as the means of transmission (see transmission sense 1) of a force or effect air is the medium that conveys sound
(2) : a surrounding or enveloping substance
(3) : the tenuous material (such as gas and dust) in space that exists outside large agglomerations (see agglomeration sense 2) of matter (such as stars) interstellar medium
f : go-between, intermediary the medium of introduction was no doubt … the publisher— Richard Garnett
3a : a condition or environment in which something may function or flourish Ocean fish live in a medium of salt water.
b plural media
(1) : a nutrient system for the artificial cultivation of cells or organisms and especially bacteria
(2) : a fluid or solid in which organic (see organic entry 1 sense 1) structures are placed (as for preservation or mounting)
c : a liquid with which pigment is mixed by a painter



Definition of medium (Entry 2 of 2)

: intermediate in quantity, quality, position, size, or degree

Is media singular or plural?: Usage Guide


The singular media and its plural medias seem to have originated in the field of advertising over 70 years ago; they are still so used without stigma in that specialized field. In most other applications media is used as a plural of medium. The popularity of the word in references to the agencies of mass communication is leading to the formation of a mass noun, construed as a singular. there's no basis for it. You know, the news media gets on to something — Edwin Meese 3d the media is less interested in the party's policies — James Lewis, Guardian Weekly This use is not as well established as the mass-noun use of data and is likely to incur criticism especially in writing.

Examples of medium in a Sentence

Noun These shirts are all mediums and I take a large. Make my French fries a medium. Her preferred medium is sculpture. The artist works in two media , pencil and watercolor. Adjective These T-shirts are available in three sizes: small, medium, and large. a person of medium build How would you like your steak, sir: rare, medium, or well-done? See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Radio waves sail through the galactic plane unimpeded, but they’re obscured by the veil’s second layer—the scattering screen, a turbulent patch of space where density variations in the interstellar medium knock radio waves slightly off course. Seth Fletcher, Scientific American, 12 May 2022 However, teams could not have help from their coach or anyone other than their teammates through any medium, according to the competition's website. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 May 2022 Select stores will give away comic books to celebrate the beloved medium that brought us timeless superheroes like Spider-Man and Batman. Zoe Sottile, CNN, 7 May 2022 The Poppy at Home subscription is available in two sizes: medium ($75 per delivery) and large ($95 per delivery). Kaitlin Marks, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 May 2022 The glass company's unrivaled collection starts with ancient specimens and continues through contemporary cutting-edge art, while the institution pushes the medium forward through its education, research, and artist residency programs. Jessica Ritz, Travel + Leisure, 6 May 2022 The fan is designed with three modes, including normal, natural, and sleep, as well as three quiet settings (low, medium, and high). Amy Schulman,, 5 May 2022 Logos makes a medium-roast with beans from Sumatra, which brings out the smoky, earthy flavors. Stefene Russell, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 May 2022 One reward for a successful journalism career at The Washington Post might be a move into a different medium, like NBC News. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 11 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Intrauterine devices are one of the most effective forms of birth control, and getting the long-acting contraceptive had been a floating item on her medium-term to-do list. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 Yields on medium and long-term U.S. Treasurys extended recent gains. WSJ, 7 May 2022 In the medium-term, all these issues are likely to resolve. Howard Gleckman, Forbes, 3 May 2022 Advanced economies are expected to increase annual public investment by 0.5 percentage point of GDP in the medium term relative to prepandemic forecasts, the IMF said in April. Tom Fairless, WSJ, 1 May 2022 In the medium term, Moscow will face total economic and political isolation. Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Similarly, development of hydrogen economy is unlikely to oust coal in China in the near-to medium-term, at least. Baker Institute, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick, syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, 5 to 10 minutes; set aside. Susan Selasky, USA TODAY, 15 Apr. 2022 In this nonstick frying test, testers used just one tablespoon of oil heated over medium heat until shimmering, then added an egg and fried it. Giovana Gelhoren,, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'medium.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of medium


1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1670, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for medium

Noun and Adjective

Latin, from neuter of medius middle — more at mid

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Dictionary Entries Near medium



medium artillery

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Medium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for medium


me·​di·​um | \ ˈmē-dē-əm How to pronounce medium (audio) \
plural mediums or media\ -​dē-​ə \

Kids Definition of medium

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that is in a middle position (as in size)
2 : the thing by which or through which something is done Writing is a medium of communication.
3 : the substance in which something lives or acts the medium of air
4 plural usually media : a form or system of communication, information, or entertainment
5 : a person through whom other persons try to communicate with the spirits of the dead



Kids Definition of medium (Entry 2 of 2)

: intermediate in amount, quality, position, or degree medium size


me·​di·​um | \ ˈmēd-ē-əm How to pronounce medium (audio) \
plural mediums or media\ -​ē-​ə How to pronounce medium (audio) \

Medical Definition of medium

1 : a means of effecting or conveying something: as
a : a substance regarded as the means of transmission of a force or effect
b : a surrounding or enveloping substance
2 plural media
a : a nutrient system for the artificial cultivation of cells or organisms and especially bacteria
b : a fluid or solid in which organic structures are placed (as for preservation or mounting)

More from Merriam-Webster on medium

Nglish: Translation of medium for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of medium for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about medium


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