middle, in the middle, in half

Quick Summary

The Latin root word medi means “middle.” This Latin root is the word origin of a large number of English vocabulary words, including medieval, mediocre, and media. This Latin root word medi is easily recalled through the word medium, for a “medium” temperature is right in the “middle” of being hot and cold.

Medi No Middling Vocab Medic!

The root word medi means “middle.” Let’s immediately start chatting about medi—no mediators needed here!

When we speak of someone of medium height, we say that that person is somewhere in the “middle” of being tall and short, just like a stove setting that is at a medium temperature is between low and high heat. If you do a mediocre job of cooking, you just do it halfway, or in the “middle” of doing it poorly and doing it well.

If you were to study the medieval world, you would be studying the “Middle” Ages, or that period of European history between or in the “middle” of the fall of Rome and the Renaissance. The most important body of water during the European Middle Ages was the Mediterranean sea, so named because it is in the “middle” of two continents: Europe and Africa. You might also study wars in which knights, when seriously wounded, would require immediate medical attention, or care that is not simply halfway or in the “middle” but rather urgently attended to.

The media loves to cover all kinds of exciting news events. The media, or forms of communication such as television, newspapers, magazines, etc. is so called because it is in the “middle” of newsworthy events and the audience who receives information about them. Often the media will cover disputes between groups; these conflicts often require a mediator, or someone who goes into the “middle” of the conflicts to try to solve them peacefully.

Last, but not least, is the mathematical concept of the median, which we all probably learned about when in “middle” or intermediate school. The median in a series of numbers is simply the number right in the “middle” of the others; for instance, in the sequence of numbers 1, 3, 7, 9, and 12, the number “7” is in the “middle” of the other numbers, just like the median strip of a highway is the paved or planted strip in the “middle” of the highway that separates traffic moving in opposite directions.

We have certainly done no “middling” or mediocre job when it has come to learning about the root word medi meaning “middle.” Now you’ll be able to know words immediately that have the root medi in them!

  1. medium: in the “middle” of two extremes
  2. mediocre: of doing work in the “middle” between excellent and poor
  3. medieval: of the “Middle” Ages
  4. Mediterranean: the sea in the “middle” of the land
  5. immediate: not acting in a “middle” way, but doing it right away
  6. media: information sources in the “middle” of an event and the audience who learns about it
  7. mediator: one who is in the “middle” of a conflict who helps solve it
  8. intermediate: the “middle” state between two things, such as “middle” school
  9. median: the number in the “middle” of a sequence of numbers, or the strip in the highway “middle”


  • mediocre

    Something that is mediocre is just average or adequate in quality.

  • milieu

    Your milieu includes the things and people that surround you and influence the way in which you behave.

  • moiety

    A moiety is one of approximately two equal halves, shares, or portions of something that can be or has already been divided.

  • mediate

    To mediate is to act as a go-between in an argument to help solve differences two parties are having.

  • immediately

    Something that happens immediately happens right away or instantly.

  • medium

    Medium is neither long nor short, hot nor cold, but in between or in the middle of those two.

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