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[mee-dee-oh-ker] /ˌmi diˈoʊ kər/
of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate:
The car gets only mediocre mileage, but it's fun to drive.
not satisfactory; poor; inferior:
Mediocre construction makes that building dangerous.
Antonyms: excellent, superior.
Origin of mediocre
1580-90; < Middle French < Latin mediocris in a middle state, literally, at middle height, equivalent to medi(us) mid1 + Old Latin ocris rugged mountain, cognate with Greek ókris, akin to ákros apex; compare Umbrian ocar hill, citadel
Related forms
submediocre, adjective
supermediocre, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mediocre
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There remained on her horizon only the friendly youths of mediocre attainments that she met in her daily life.

    The Man from the Bitter Roots Caroline Lockhart
  • I'm only sorry that a man who might be brilliant is content to be mediocre because of his prejudices.

    The Rhodesian Gertrude Page
  • Often a mediocre, commonplace man suffices to give the critical turn to thought or interest.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • Assuredly, Didymus of Alexandria is no mediocre philosopher.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • He must be obscure, insignificant and mediocre—in thought, act, speech and sympathy.

British Dictionary definitions for mediocre


/ˌmiːdɪˈəʊkə; ˈmiːdɪˌəʊkə/
(often derogatory) average or ordinary in quality: a mediocre book
Word Origin
C16: via French from Latin mediocris moderate, literally: halfway up the mountain, from medius middle + ocris stony mountain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mediocre

1580s, from Middle French médiocre (16c.), from Latin mediocris "of middling height or state, moderate, ordinary," figuratively "mediocre, mean, inferior," originally "halfway up a mountain," from medius "middle" (see medial (adj.)) + ocris "jagged mountain" (cf. Greek okris "peak, point," Welsh ochr "corner, border," Latin acer "sharp;" see acrid). As a noun, "medicore thing or person," by 1834.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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