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[mid-l-man] /ˈmɪd lˌmæn/
noun, plural middlemen.
a person who plays an economic role intermediate between producer and retailer or consumer.
a person who acts as an intermediary.
Origin of middleman
1400-50; late Middle English: maker of girdles; see middle, man1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for middleman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • These landscape fellows buy their stuff direct, and the middleman's out.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • When the brick-house era sets in, the middleman will be rampant.

  • The middleman has several and can thus adjust himself quickly.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • The important thing for you is that he is the middleman on whom you depend for the disease.

    By the Christmas Fire

    Samuel McChord Crothers
  • We're getting our goods cheap and we're cuttin' off the middleman.

    A Spoil of Office Hamlin Garland
British Dictionary definitions for middleman


noun (pl) -men
an independent trader engaged in the distribution of goods from producer to consumer
an intermediary
(theatre) the interlocutor in minstrel shows
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 middleman

in the trading sense, 1795, from middle + man. From mid-15c. as the name of some type of workman in wire-making. From 1741 as "one who takes a middle course."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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