noun pl. me·di·a,
- Something, such as an intermediate course of action, that occupies a position or represents a condition midway between extremes.
a. A substance that propagates energy or signals through space via changes in its own state: Air acts as a medium for the transmission of sound waves.
b. The sparsely distributed gas and dust subsisting in the space between stars.
- An agency by which something is accomplished, conveyed, or transferred: The train was the usual medium of transportation in those days.
- pl. media Usage Problem
a. A means of mass communication, such as newspapers, magazines, radio, or television.
b. media used with a sing. or pl. verb The group of journalists and others who constitute the communications industry and profession.
- pl. media Computers Any of various kinds of storage devices, such as hard drives or digital audiotape.
- pl. mediums A person thought to have the power to communicate with the spirits of the dead or with agents of another world or dimension. Also called psychic .
- pl. media
a. A surrounding environment in which something functions and thrives.
b. The substance in which a specific organism lives and thrives.
c. A culture medium.
a. A specific kind of artistic technique or means of expression as determined by the materials used or the creative methods involved: the medium of lithography.
b. The materials used in a specific artistic technique: oils as a medium.
- A solvent with which paint is thinned to the proper consistency.
- Chemistry A filtering substance, such as filter paper.
Occurring or being between two degrees, amounts, or quantities; intermediate: ordered a medium coffee.
See Synonyms at average
Origin of medium
Latin from neuter of medius middle
; see medhyo-
in Indo-European roots.
Usage Note: The etymologically plural form media is sometimes used as a singular to refer to a particular means of communication, as in The internet is the most exciting new media since television. Many people regard this usage as incorrect. In our 2001 survey, 91 percent of the Usage Panel rejected this usage in the example just quoted. In such contexts. the singular medium is acceptable. • Media also occurs with the definite article as a collective term that refers to the communities and institutions behind the various forms of communication. In this sense, the media means something like “the press.” Like other collective nouns, it may take a singular or plural verb depending on the intended meaning. If the point is to emphasize the multifaceted nature of the press, a plural verb may be more appropriate: The media have covered the trial in a variety of formats. Quite frequently, however, media stands as a singular noun for the aggregate of journalists and broadcasters: The media has not shown much interest in covering the trial. All things being equal, the Usage Panel has a decided preference for the plural use in these sentences, with 91 percent accepting the variety of formats sentence, and only 38 accepting the covering the trial sentence in 2001. This suggests that many people still think of media predominantly as a plural form, and that it will be some time before the singular use of media begins to crowd out the plural use in the manner of similar Latin plurals, such as agenda and data. • Inconveniently, the singular medium cannot be used as a collective noun for the press. Sentences like No medium has shown much interest in covering the trial are not standard and may be viewed as nonsensical.
(plural media or mediums)
- (plural media or mediums) The nature of the surrounding environment, e.g. solid, liquid, gas, vacuum, or a specific substance such as a solvent.
- (plural media or mediums) The material or empty space through which signals, waves or forces pass.
- (plural media or mediums) A format for communicating or presenting information.
- (plural media or mediums, engineering) The materials used to finish a workpiece using a mass finishing or abrasive blasting process.
- (plural media or mediums, microbiology) A nutrient solution for the growth of cells in vitro.
- (plural media or mediums) The means or channel by which an aim is achieved.
- (plural mediums or media) A liquid base which carries pigment in paint.
- (plural mediums or media, painting) A tool used for painting or drawing.
- Acrylics, oils, charcoal and gouache are all mediums I used in my painting.
- (plural mediums, spiritualism) Someone who supposedly conveys information from the spirit world.
- (plural mediums) Anything having a measurement intermediate between extremes, such as a garment or container.
- (plural mediums) A person whom garments or apparel of intermediate size fit.
- (plural mediums, Ireland, dated, informal) A half-pint serving of Guinness (other stout in some regions).
- A middle place or degree.
- a happy medium
- (dated) An average; sometimes the mathematical mean.
- (logic) The mean or middle term of a syllogism, that by which the extremes are brought into connection.
- Of intermediate size, degree, amount etc.
- Of meat, cooked to a point greater than rare but less than well done; typically, so the meat is still red in the centre.
(comparative more medium, superlative most medium)
- to a medium extent
From Latin medium, neuter of medius (“middle”). Compare middle.