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[mee-dee-ok-ri-tee] /ˌmi diˈɒk rɪ ti/
noun, plural mediocrities.
the state or quality of being mediocre.
mediocre ability or accomplishment.
a mediocre person.
Origin of mediocrity
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English mediocrite < Middle French mediocrite < Latin mediocritāt- (stem of mediocritās) a middle state, moderation. See mediocre, -ity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mediocrities
Historical Examples
  • To a certain extent it deserves the ordinary fate of mediocrities placed by the side of greatness.

    Italian Alps Douglas William Freshfield
  • It is only mediocrities and old maids who consider it a grievance to be misunderstood.

    A Critic in Pall Mall Oscar Wilde
  • His sisters have been caricatured as having the manners of the kitchen, and loose morals, and his brothers as mediocrities.

    Drake, Nelson and Napoleon Walter Runciman
  • But from what he says it is clear that the tone of the place was set by the mediocrities.

    The Age of Erasmus P. S. Allen
  • Having started early to become men of note, they turn into mediocrities, and crawl over the high places of the world.

    The Thirteen Honore de Balzac
  • He has the nicest kind of fame; the more apparent sort made up by the admiration of mediocrities isnt half as nice.

    The Dull Miss Archinard Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • I am sorry for the loss of Bright and Cobden, because such able men ought not to be ousted and replaced by mediocrities.

    The Greville Memoirs (Third Part) Volume II (of II) Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville
  • It is difficult to fancy how the mediocrities reconcile such sayings with their proverbs.

    Virginibus Puerisque Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Let him read what is proper to him, and not waste his memory on a crowd of mediocrities.

    The Book-lover James Baldwin
  • If a man of more than ordinary ability tries to do the work of two men, he is apt to find that the two men are mediocrities.

    Eve and David Honore de Balzac
British Dictionary definitions for mediocrities


/ˌmiːdɪˈɒkrɪtɪ; ˌmɛd-/
noun (pl) -ties
the state or quality of being mediocre
a mediocre person or thing
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 mediocrities



early 15c., "moderation; intermediate state or amount," from Middle French médiocrité and directly from Latin mediocritatem (nominative mediocritas) "a middle state, middling condition, medium," from mediocris (see mediocre). Neutral at first; disparaging sense began to predominate from late 16c. The meaning "person of mediocre abilities or attainments" is from 1690s. Before the tinge of disparagement crept in, another name for the Golden Mean was golden mediocrity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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