From Middle English middes, midst, myddest (“middle”), from Old English midde, reshaped in Middle English phrases like in middes (“in the middle”) by analogy with adverbs in -(e)s; also compare Old English on middan, tōmiddes. Forms in -(e)st are probably due to influence of superlatives.
midst (plural midsts)
- (often literary) A place in the middle of something; may be used of a literal or metaphorical location.
- 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Affair at the Novelty Theatre:
- Miss Phyllis Morgan, as the hapless heroine dressed in the shabbiest of clothes, appears in the midst of a gay and giddy throng; she apostrophises all and sundry there, including the villain, and has a magnificent scene which always brings down the house, and nightly adds to her histrionic laurels.
- 1995, Pitts, Mary Ellen, Toward a Dialogue of Understandings: Loren Eiseley and the Critique of Science, page 225:
- At dawn, in the midst of a mist that is both literal and the unformed shifting of thought, he encounters a young fox pup playfully shaking a bone.
- 2002, Schlueter, Nathan W., quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963, speech, quoted in One Dream Or Two?: Justice in America and in the Thought of Martin Luther King, Jr., page 89:
- As he said in "I Have a Dream," the Negro "lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity."
- For quotations using this term, see Citations:midst.