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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English middel, from Old English middel, middle (middle, centre, waist), from Proto-Germanic *midlą, *midilą, *medalą (middle), a diminutive of Proto-Germanic *midjō (middle, midst) (compare *midjaz (mid, middle, adjective)), from Proto-Indo-European *médʰyos (between, in the middle, middle). Cognate with West Frisian middel, Dutch middel, German mittel (middle, adjective), German Mittel (middle, means, noun), Danish middel (means, agent, medicine). Related also to Swedish medel (means, medium), Icelandic meðal (means, medicine). See also mid.


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈmɪdəl/, [ˈmɪ.ɾɫ̩]
  • (file)
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈmɪdəl/, [ˈmɪ.dəɫ], [ˈmɪ.dʊ]
  • (General Australian) IPA(key): /ˈmɪdəl/, [ˈmɪ̝.dəɫ], [ˈmɪ̝.dʊ], [ˈmɪ̝.ɾ-]
  • (file)
  • (New Zealand) IPA(key): /ˈmɘdɘl/, [ˈmə.dɯ(ɫ)], [ˈmə.ɾ-]
  • Rhymes: -ɪdəl


middle (plural middles)

  1. A centre, midpoint.
    The middle of a circle is the point which has the same distance to every point of circle.
  2. The part between the beginning and the end.
    I woke up in the middle of the night.
    In the middle of the marathon, David collapsed from fatigue.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Then there came a reg'lar terror of a sou'wester same as you don't get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand. We spent consider'ble money getting 'em reset, and then a swordfish got into the pound and tore the nets all to slathers, right in the middle of the squiteague season.
  3. (cricket) The middle stump.
  4. The central part of a human body; the waist.
    • 2012, Caroline Moore, Fasting In A Fast World:
      If I have a diet plan and stick to it, it is easy for me to have control over my middle.
  5. (grammar) The middle voice.



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


middle (not comparable)

  1. Located in the middle; in between.
    the middle point
    middle name, Middle English, Middle Ages
  2. Central.
  3. (grammar) Pertaining to the middle voice.


Derived terms[edit]

With prefixes and suffixes
Language stages
Geographical names
Expressions with the noun “middle” at the end
Anatomical terms and phrases
All other expressions derived from the adjective or noun “middle”

Related terms[edit]



middle (third-person singular simple present middles, present participle middling, simple past and past participle middled)

  1. (obsolete) To take a middle view of. [17th–18th c.]
    • 1748, [Samuel Richardson], “Letter XXVII”, in Clarissa. Or, The History of a Young Lady: [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to VII), London: [] S[amuel] Richardson;  [], →OCLC:
      And now, to middle the matter between both, it is pity, that the man they favour has not that sort of merit which a person of a mind so delicate as that of Miss Harlowe might reasonably expect in a husband.
  2. (obsolete, nautical, transitive) To double (a rope) into two equal portions; to fold in the middle. [19th c.]

Middle English[edit]



  1. inflection of middel:
    1. weak singular
    2. strong/weak plural