- medium, moderate, oraverage in size, quantity, or quality: The returns on such a large investment may be only middling.
- mediocre; ordinary; commonplace; pedestrian: The restaurant's entrées are no better than middling.
- Older Use. in fairly good health.
- moderately; fairly.
- middlings, any of various products or commodities of intermediate quality, grade, size, etc., as the coarser particles of ground wheat mingled with bran.
- Often middlings. Also called middling meat. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. salt pork or smoked side meat.
Origin of middling
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for middlings
The hams and shoulders being cut off, take for pickling the quantities proportioned to the middlings of a pretty large hog.
The middlings, which are rich in fats and protein, are prized for dairy cows.Agriculture for Beginners
Charles William Burkett
He merely asserts with his loudest voice that his middlings are not middlings.The Struggles of Brown, Jones, and Robinson
They used "middlings" for pancakes at home, when her mother was tired of buckwheat.A Little Girl of Long Ago
Amanda Millie Douglas
While he endeavored to regain his balance, the two Middlings eyed him curiously.The Royal Book of Oz
L. Frank Baum
- the poorer or coarser part of flour or other products
- commodities of intermediate grade, quality, size, or price
- mainly US the part of a pig between the ham and shoulder
- mediocre in quality, size, etc; neither good nor bad, esp in health (often in the phrase fair to middling)
- informal moderatelymiddling well
C15 (northern English and Scottish): from mid 1 + -ling ²
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
Word Origin and History for middlings
1540s, from Scottish mydlyn (mid-15c.), from middle + suffix -ing. Used to designate the second of three grades of goods. As an adverb by 1719.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with middlings
see fair to middling.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.