Definition of medium in US English:

medium

noun

  • 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’
    • ‘To use TV as a medium of education will yield rich dividends.’
    • ‘As we built it, the library became a medium for us to design our own structure of how subjects and ideas flow.’
    • ‘Mostly, it was a medium for the well-off to talk among themselves.’
    • ‘The internet ‘should be a medium for unbridled self-expression’, not an amplifier of fears.’
    • ‘Accordingly, money is brought forth into society to be used as a medium of exchange to facilitate the trade of goods of all kinds.’
    • ‘We are simply providing a medium for people to tell us their experiences in confidence and presenting them to the public who can then make up their own minds.’
    • ‘Later, increasing numbers of literati acknowledged the folding fan as a medium for showing off their expertise in writing and painting.’
    • ‘Which means, theatre is not just a medium for entertainment, but a reaction to the intense and complex realities around us.’
    • ‘The company began as a medium for senior dancers to perform.’
    • ‘He then shifts to the use of gold in Greece, Rome, and Byzantium, initially as adornment but later as a medium of exchange.’
    • ‘No asset since gold in the 19th century enjoys such broad acceptance as both a medium of exchange and a store of value as the dollar.’
    • ‘The meetings provide a medium for local councillors to raise the issues of their electorate on a more intimate basis with Council officials.’
    • ‘It was a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals without regard of geographic location, she said.’
    • ‘We could get more things done, since television would not be a medium of entertainment but rather of information alone.’
    • ‘Given a medium of exchange, people can trade even if their wants and needs don't directly coincide.’
    • ‘Chatrooms have always been popular on the internet as they provide a medium for people with similar interests to meet and discuss their opinions.’
    • ‘A common answer is ‘anything that can be used as a medium of exchange’.’
    • ‘Others do not, saying that they are not bookmakers, but a medium for bets between consenting adults.’
    • ‘The idea of using newspapers as a medium of education goes back to the 18th century.’
    means of communication, means of expression, mode of expression, means, method, way, form, agency, channel, forum
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    1. 1.1 A means by which something is communicated or expressed.
      ‘here the Welsh language is the medium of instruction’
      • ‘Blogging is the medium that lets us communicate with like-minded people.’
      • ‘It seems mobile phone is the medium of choice for communication for modern Japanese.’
      • ‘True communication can only occur between people with equal access to the medium in which the communication is taking place.’
      • ‘I shall use the same medium of communication as I believe that the information I give will reach the wider public.’
      • ‘The mediums of communications have themselves changed.’
      • ‘Since music is a mysterious international language, it can be the medium of communication in its special way with patients.’
      • ‘Today, it seems that through the various medium of communications every heartbeat is shared by the world.’
      • ‘Languages were flawless and they were just mediums of interaction and communication, he added.’
      • ‘Simply put, mobile communications is the new medium for the future.’
      • ‘Thai is the national language and the medium for education and mass communication.’
      • ‘The problem, though, is not with the words, but with the medium of communication, with situation and circumstance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is a powerful communicative medium; a language which uses the mind and body to relate varied experiences.’
      • ‘The Internet has become a global medium for instant communication and quick access to information.’
      • ‘In Malaysia, on the other hand, Malay is the national and the official language and the main medium of instruction.’
      • ‘It provides education for children using the Maori language as the medium of instruction.’
      • ‘English is the administrative language and the medium of instruction in schools.’
      • ‘Our newest medium of camp marketing communications probably sports the most flagrant offenses.’
      • ‘Blogs are just a new medium for communication and the three rules apply.’
      means of communication, means of expression, mode of expression, means, method, way, form, agency, channel, forum
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  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There was no medium or physical means to push and pull the planets and other objects around.’
    • ‘Moving in a fluid is complicated by the fact that forces applied to the medium cause it to move.’
    1. 2.1 The substance in which an organism lives or is cultured.
      ‘grow bacteria in a nutrient-rich medium’
      • ‘Blood is a great medium for the bacteria that causes gonorrhea.’
      • ‘The basal cut surface was left in the nutrient medium.’
      • ‘Alkaloid levels were determined both in the roots and in the culture medium after a culturing period of 28 d.’
      • ‘Organic matter plays an important complementary role, especially on very sandy soils where it is practically the only medium for nutrient and water storage.’
      • ‘Addition of Chinese medicines into the culture medium will significantly affect bone cell metabolism.’
      • ‘Typically, by the end of batch culture nutrients in the medium would be considerably depleted.’
      • ‘Uptake activity depends on the growth phase of the cultured cells whereas the culture medium had no effect on uptake.’
      • ‘The world ocean is what laboratory scientists would call a culture medium, the largest petri dish known to mankind.’
      • ‘Eggs were collected during 8 h periods in cultured bottles containing standard medium.’
      • ‘The culture medium was changed after 24 h and from then on three times a day.’
      • ‘Pollen was sprinkled on the media by gently tapping a set of three flowers directly above the surface of the medium in each Petri dish.’
      • ‘This occurs when colonic bacteria accumulate above the obstructing lesion and flourish in a nutrient medium.’
      • ‘In plant cell culture, the addition of exogenous sugar to the culture medium is an absolute necessity for nearly all tissues.’
      • ‘The objective of this study was to develop a suitable medium to improve in vitro pollen germination in pigeonpea.’
      • ‘Serial dilutions of the test solutions with culture medium were prepared before in vitro assay.’
      • ‘This would also increase the sloughing off of cell wall surface polymers in the culture medium.’
      • ‘Cells were separated from the culture medium by centrifugation at 100 g for 1 min at 4°C.’
      • ‘The culture medium in the glass containers was exchanged every 2 days.’
      • ‘The culture medium covering the cells was purged with pure nitrogen gas for 4 h.’
      • ‘In doing so, this mucus becomes a culture medium for further bacterial growth, aggravating the state of recurrent infections.’
      habitat, element, environment, surroundings, milieu, setting, conditions, circumstances, ambience, atmosphere
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    2. 2.2 A liquid (e.g., oil or water) with which pigments are mixed to make paint.
      • ‘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.’
      habitat, element, environment, surroundings, milieu, setting, conditions, circumstances, ambience, atmosphere
      View synonyms
  • 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’
    • ‘In most cases, magnetic disk storage will be the medium of choice for several key reasons.’
    • ‘A signal from a storage medium is processed in a data channel to form digital data.’
    • ‘Copy files to and from the device as you would with any other storage medium.’
    • ‘Tape is the overwhelming computer medium of choice for archiving.’
    • ‘Disk has lagged behind tape as a long-term storage medium because of cost.’
    • ‘If you can justify the price and are looking for some portable storage medium then this is something you should take a look at.’
    • ‘This film has been used for over 12 years as an archival optical storage medium.’
    • ‘This would let users treat the drive as a floppy drive or hard drive, making it an easier to use storage medium.’
    • ‘Things are looking up for DVD-RAM as a general-purpose storage medium.’
    • ‘Their capacity and low price mean that CD-Rs should be your starting point when considering a storage medium.’
    • ‘Tape is the most effective storage medium on a price basis for large amounts of data.’
    • ‘What's the next most common storage medium shared amongst many computers?’
    • ‘Wired Magazine is now suggesting that discs are dead as a storage medium.’
    • ‘They largely replaced disk drives as a transportable storage medium.’
    • ‘The encrypted object is written as an ordinary file on the medium.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Despite the drawbacks stated above, tape is still a widely accepted storage medium.’
    • ‘As a long-term storage medium for check images, tape significantly exceeds any realistic requirements.’
    • ‘Review DVD is currently hyped as the storage medium of the future.’
    • ‘Using the whole volume of a storage medium, instead of just the surface, allows us to encode much more information in a small space.’
  • 4The material or form used by an artist, composer, or writer.

    ‘oil paint is the most popular medium for glazing’
    • ‘O'Connell sells contemporary glass sculpture, a popular medium for homes full of sun on the water.’
    • ‘It showcased a variety of artistic mediums ranging from large finished canvases to sketch books.’
    • ‘These are young professionals who are exploring the artistic medium of film.’
    • ‘Concrete is one of the artist's favorite mediums.’
    • ‘And woodblocks have remained the dominant medium for Japanese print artists until our days.’
    • ‘What sets him apart from the very large number of contemporary artists working in the medium is his exhilarating use of colour.’
    • ‘As an artistic medium, film can have a myriad of purposes.’
    • ‘The arch soon became a focal point of Washington Square and a subject for artists working in all mediums.’
    • ‘My favorite medium is artistic photography because it is real and has that peacefulness and beauty in it.’
    • ‘Krause is an artist who continues to push himself into new mediums and new subject matter.’
    • ‘As an artistic medium, film is easily the most accessible art form, yet the least discussed beyond its immediate spectacle.’
    • ‘The artist chooses mediums like oil, calligraphy and glass to display her talents.’
    • ‘She worked in a variety of mediums, including artist's books, painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation and dance.’
    • ‘Prevalent artistic mediums of that period - the mural and the poster - reflected the political character of the times.’
    • ‘I cannot discuss all the new artistic mediums here - and if I did, my discussion would be obsolete before this book is published.’
    • ‘Shakespeare's work has been produced since the Renaissance in all artistic mediums from the original theater to opera, symphony, film, and ballet.’
    • ‘The other pieces were in ceramic, the medium for which the artist is best known.’
    • ‘In fact, the completed windows do possess a freshness that is striking to find in the medium of monumental stained glass.’
    • ‘More than 60 artists in different mediums display their artistic experiments with unfamiliar material.’
    • ‘Energized by necessity as well as by curiosity and competence in many mediums, the versatile artist was awesomely productive.’
  • 5A person claiming to be in contact with the spirits of the dead and to communicate between the dead and the living.

    • ‘Spiritualist mediums are predominantly women who hold divinations and seances in their homes; many have become successful and even wealthy.’
    • ‘Soon, half the audience is crying, convinced the medium has made contact.’
    • ‘If an authentic medium detects a spirit that is present, they will try and convince it to move on.’
    • ‘This work, by Professor Richard Wiseman, involved asking five mediums to contact the dead relatives of five volunteers.’
    • ‘During the winter of 1978, the owner was contacted by a professional medium.’
    • ‘I do not let spirits enter my body and speak through me, though some psychics and mediums work this way.’
    • ‘Clients of mediums who claim to get messages from the dead are very highly motivated clients.’
    • ‘He claims he is a medium for holy spirits who talk to him in their dreams.’
    • ‘Did the medium really tell you that your dead father's name was William?’
    • ‘This man did not claim to be a medium but, nonetheless, believed he had talked many times with the spirit of Doyle.’
    • ‘Just a few days ago, I sat down with a woman who is a medium, and we got to talking about spirits and ghosts.’
    • ‘A male medium contacted the owner in 1985 and disclosed that the dead Hessian soldier had visited him in a dream.’
    • ‘Such beliefs are not confined to rural areas; in the cities there is a network of spirit mediums who claim to contact the dead.’
    • ‘Most people who go to a medium or a spiritualist church have lost someone and want to find out that this person is okay.’
    • ‘After making an international name for himself, he spent several years exposing phony spiritualists and mediums.’
    • ‘Nigel's devastated parents made a number of attempts to contact their son through mediums and the spiritualist church.’
    • ‘He asserts that this work supports the mediums ' claims that they are actually communicating with the dead.’
    • ‘Today's most successful mediums, however, simply claim the dead communicate through them.’
    • ‘Other religious practitioners include spirit mediums and shamans, most of whom are women.’
    • ‘As a spiritual medium, telephone readings are available at a very affordable price.’
    spiritualist, clairvoyant, mind reader, fortune teller, seer, necromancer
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  • 6The middle quality or state between two extremes; a reasonable balance.

    ‘there is a medium between being modest and boastful’
    middle way, middle course, middle ground, middle, mean, median, mid point, central point, centre, average, norm, standard
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adjective

  • About halfway between two extremes of size or another quality; average.

    ‘John is six feet tall, of medium build’
    ‘medium-length hair’
    • ‘The first man was white, in his late teens, 5ft 10 in tall, of medium build, with fair short hair.’
    • ‘I smiled and ruffled her medium length light brown hair slightly.’
    • ‘He had medium length shaggy black hair and bright green eyes.’
    • ‘Her hair was medium length and brown, and she walked gracefully.’
    • ‘This product is suitable for most small to medium size businesses that require full stock control and sales and purchase order processing.’
    • ‘They are about the size of a medium collie dog, but their tail is round and bushy and is carried straight out below the level of their back.’
    • ‘These policies will inevitably lead to an extremely painful property market shake-out in the near to medium term.’
    • ‘There is a certain amount of research that has no clear medium term pay off that is funded by governments.’
    • ‘Her medium length brown hair was loose and hung over her back.’
    • ‘Many military installations are in or near small or medium size towns that can't absorb such a loss.’
    • ‘She has fair medium length straight hair and blue eyes.’
    • ‘Its bill is of medium length for a shorebird, and it has short, yellow legs.’
    • ‘My medium length black hair was left out in bouncy curls today.’
    • ‘He is described as being medium build with a fair complexion and light brown hair.’
    • ‘In addition about 90% of the quota was taken up by producers in the small to medium size categories.’
    • ‘She looked to be in her mid-thirties and had medium length brown hair.’
    • ‘In captivity, the hawk-headed parrot has a life span comparable to most other medium size parrots.’
    • ‘She had a slim build and medium length, fashionably styled blonde hair.’
    • ‘They seemed to be of medium length and one them had been pulled from the root, making a DNA check possible.’
    • ‘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.’
    average, middling, medium-sized, middle-sized, moderate, fair, normal, standard, usual
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Origin

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

Pronunciation

medium

/ˈmēdēəm//ˈmidiəm/