# median

## Origin of median

## OTHER WORDS FROM median

me·di·an·ly, adverbpost·me·di·an, adjectivepre·me·di·an, noun, adjectivesub·me·di·an, adjective## Words nearby median

## Other definitions for median (2 of 2)

## MEDIAN VS. MEAN VS. MODE VS. AVERAGE

## What’s the difference between *median*, *mean*, *mode*, and *average*?

In the context of mathematics and statistics, the *median* is the middle number in a set of values when those values are arranged from smallest to largest. In contrast, the word *mean* refers to what’s informally called the *average*—the sum of a set of values divided by the number of values. The *mode* of a set of values is the most frequently repeated value in the set.

The word *average* is of course also very commonly used in more general ways. In math, though, it’s helpful to use more specific terms when determining the most representative or common value in a set of numbers.

To illustrate the difference, let’s look at an example set of seven values: 2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9.

To get the *mean* of this set, you’d add up all the values (2+3+3+4+6+8+9=35) and then divide that total by the number of values (7), resulting in a *mean* of 5. This is what most people are referring to when they refer to the *average* of some set of numbers.

To find the *median*, you have to find the one that’s sequentially in the middle. In a set of seven numbers arranged in increasing value, the *median* is the fourth number (since there are three before and three after). In this set (2, 3, 3, **4**, 6, 8, 9), the *median* is 4. When a set has an even number of values, the *median* is the *mean* of the two middle values.

The *mode* is simply the value that shows up the most. In the example set, the *mode* is 3, since it occurs twice and all the other values occur only once.

**Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between median, mean, mode, and average.**

## Quiz yourself on *median* vs. *mean* vs. *mode* vs. *average*!

**Should median, mean, mode, or average be used in the following sentence?**

*The most frequently repeated test score is 80, so it’s the _____ of the set.*

## How to use median in a sentence

## British Dictionary definitions for median

## Derived forms of median

medianly, adverb## Word Origin for median

## Scientific definitions for median

- The middle number, when such a sequence has an odd number of values. For example, in the sequence 3, 4, 14, 35, 280, the median is 14.
- The average of the two middle numbers, when such a sequence has an even number of values. For example, in the sequence 4, 8, 10, 56, the median is 9 (the average of 8 and 10). Compare arithmetic mean average mode.

## Cultural definitions for median (1 of 2)

The point in a series at which half of the values or units of the series are higher and half lower.

## Cultural definitions for median (2 of 2)

In statistics, the middle value of a set of numbers or data points; half the figures will fall below the median and half above. (See average; compare mean and mode.)