Definition of medium in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmēdēəm/

noun (plural media /-dēə/ or mediums)

1An agency or means of doing something: using the latest technology as a medium for job creation their primitive valuables acted as a medium of exchange
More example sentences
  • A common answer is ‘anything that can be used as a medium of exchange’.
  • To use TV as a medium of education will yield rich dividends.
  • The meetings provide a medium for local councillors to raise the issues of their electorate on a more intimate basis with Council officials.
1.1A means by which something is communicated or expressed: here the Welsh language is the medium of instruction
More example sentences
  • It provides education for children using the Maori language as the medium of instruction.
  • Secondly, the Commission recommends Mother Tongue as the medium of instruction for elementary education.
  • English is the official language and the main medium of instruction from preschool to tertiary levels of education.
2The intervening substance through which impressions are conveyed to the senses or a force acts on objects at a distance: radio communication needs no physical medium between the two stations the medium between the cylinders is a vacuum
More example sentences
  • Second, the gene provides the physical medium for sharing genetic information from generation to generation.
  • Air, the lubricating medium, is forced into a reservoir surrounding the bearing.
  • Moving in a fluid is complicated by the fact that forces applied to the medium cause it to move.
2.1The substance in which an organism lives or is cultured: grow bacteria in a nutrient-rich medium
More example sentences
  • Typically, by the end of batch culture nutrients in the medium would be considerably depleted.
  • The world ocean is what laboratory scientists would call a culture medium, the largest petri dish known to mankind.
  • Alkaloid levels were determined both in the roots and in the culture medium after a culturing period of 28 d.
3A particular form of storage for digitized information, such as magnetic tape or discs: moving or copying backed-up data through a hierarchy of different mediums
More example sentences
  • In most cases, magnetic disk storage will be the medium of choice for several key reasons.
  • This means shifting data between storage mediums in an effort to provide the ideal levels of access, protection, and recovery at the lowest possible total cost.
  • A signal from a storage medium is processed in a data channel to form digital data.
4A liquid (e.g., oil or water) with which pigments are mixed to make paint.
Example sentences
  • We carry a large range of dry pigments, oils and mediums.
  • When a pigment has a high scattering power in relation to the medium, the paint will be dense and opaque in appearance.
4.1The material or form used by an artist, composer, or writer: oil paint is the most popular medium for glazing
More example sentences
  • The other pieces were in ceramic, the medium for which the artist is best known.
  • And woodblocks have remained the dominant medium for Japanese print artists until our days.
  • Concrete is one of the artist's favorite mediums.
5 (plural mediums) A person claiming to be in contact with the spirits of the dead and to communicate between the dead and the living.
Example sentences
  • Such beliefs are not confined to rural areas; in the cities there is a network of spirit mediums who claim to contact the dead.
  • This work, by Professor Richard Wiseman, involved asking five mediums to contact the dead relatives of five volunteers.
  • He asserts that this work supports the mediums ' claims that they are actually communicating with the dead.
spiritualist, spiritist, necromancer, channeler;
fortune teller, clairvoyant, psychic
6The middle quality or state between two extremes; a reasonable balance: you have to strike a happy medium between looking like royalty and looking like a housewife
middle way, middle course, middle ground, middle, mean, median, midpoint;
compromise, golden mean


1About halfway between two extremes of size or another quality; average: John is six feet tall, of medium build medium-length hair
More example sentences
  • He was described as a man in his late 30s, taller than average, of medium build with short dark hair and who spoke with no discernible accent.
  • She had a slim build and medium length, fashionably styled blonde hair.
  • She has fair medium length straight hair and blue eyes.
average, middling, medium-sized, middle-sized, midsize, moderate, normal, standard
1.1(Of cooked meat) halfway between rare and well-done: I wanted my burger to be medium
More example sentences
  • Alan Connolly was a right-arm fast medium bowler, tall in stature and powerfully built.
  • He was a hard-hitting batsman and an excellent opening medium pace bowler.
  • His fielding alone makes him stand out from the crowd and there is also the option he gives us with the ball as he can bowl medium pace or off-spin.



Pronunciation: /-ˌmizəm/
sense 5 of the noun.
Example sentences
  • The true scientific use of the pendulum is not to be confused with mediumism or the subconscious mind at all.
  • The study of mediumism and related phenomena shows us that many mediums assessed as genuine, later began to lose their powers and took to cheating due to the pressure to go on producing results.
  • But anyhow; using a Ouija-table or practising table-tilting is one way to try to develop mediumism, or to get the first contact from the other side.


Pronunciation: /ˌmēdēəˈmistik/
sense 5 of the noun.
Example sentences
  • In 1921 a journalist, James Douglas, had a photo of himself taken by medium William Hope, of the Crewe Circle mediumistic group, that, when developed, showed the presence of a spirit extra.
  • During a mediumistic reading the medium usually produces a large number of statements and the sitter has to decide whether these statements accurately describe his/her deceased friends or relatives.
  • It is hoped that future tests of mediumistic ability will employ the type of blind judging methods that have been developed, and frequently employed, in past tests of mediumistic ability.


Pronunciation: /-ˌSHip/
sense 5 of the noun.
Example sentences
  • The three-part BBC series aims to lift the veil on mediumship - asking whether mediums spread false hope, exploit the vulnerable or simply tell people what they want to hear.
  • It is the most commonly used method behind such mysteries as mediumship, palmistry, astrology and a host of other varieties of ‘psychic’ reading.
  • For Mrs Howard her ‘gift’ for mediumship was discovered out of a tragic loss she suffered more than 20 years ago.


Late 16th century (originally denoting something intermediate in nature or degree): from Latin, literally 'middle', neuter of medius.

  • mediocre from late 16th century:

    Mediocre is from Latin mediocris used to mean ‘of middle height or degree’, but literally ‘somewhat rugged or mountainous’, from medius ‘middle’ and ocris ‘rugged mountain’. Medius also gives us medium (late 16th century) and intermediate (Late Middle English), while meridian (Late Middle English) goes back to Latin meridianum ‘noon’ from medius dies ‘middle of the day’.

Words that rhyme with medium


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: me·di·um

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