- The definition of mediocre is something that is just average, or not very good.
When your dinner is edible but not very good, this is an example of when it is mediocre.
- neither very good nor very bad; ordinary; average
- not good enough; inferior
Origin of mediocreFrench médiocre ; from Classical Latin mediocris ; from medius, middle (see mid) + ocris, a peak ; from Indo-European base an unverified form a-, sharp from source Classical Latin acer
Origin of mediocreFrench médiocre, from Latin mediocris : medius, middle; see medhyo- in Indo-European roots + ocris, a rugged mountain; see ak- in Indo-European roots. Word History: Belying the very meaning of the word, the adjective mediocre has a remarkable and unexpected etymology. Mediocre ultimately comes from Latin mediocris, which meant “middling, ordinary, unremarkable.” The Latin word in turn is a compound based on a rather concrete metaphor—we often find that abstract words are rooted in vivid comparisons when we trace the history of words back till we hit bedrock. In this case, the bedrock is a Latin word for “mountain.” Mediocris is a compound of the adjective medius, “half” or “in the middle,” and ocris, “rugged mountain.” Something that is mediocre is only midway up a mountain or rises up to only half a mountain's height, as it were—the thing goes just halfway to the highest point of excellence. The resemblance between the Latin word medius and English words like middle and midway is no accident. They are all ultimately descended from the Proto-Indo-European word *medhyo-, “middle.”
(comparative more mediocre, superlative most mediocre)
From the late Middle English medioker, from the French médiocre, from the Middle French médiocre, from the Classical Latin mediocris (“in a middle state”, “of middle size”, “middling”, “moderate”, “ordinary”), from medius (“middle”) + ocris (“rugged mountain”); compare mediocrely and mediocrity.