Definition of median
Origin of median
OTHER WORDS FROM medianme·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
The median household income in many of the affected Louisiana parishes is below $50,000, with poverty rates upwards of 15 percent.Hurricane Laura is the strongest storm to hit Louisiana in more than a century|Sara Chodosh|August 28, 2020|Popular-Science
The baseline refers to the median day-value between January 3 and February 6, 2020.See how visits to retail, grocery, workplaces are trending by area with Google Mobility Reports|George Nguyen|August 27, 2020|Search Engine Land
Back in the first half of 2016, the share of nonbrand paid search clicks attributed as broad matches in Google search query reports was up above 25% for the median advertiser.2020 Google paid search trends that have nothing to do with the pandemic|Andy Taylor|August 25, 2020|Search Engine Land
At the end of April, people were tested at a rate 60 percent higher in areas where the median household income was in the top quartile versus the bottom quartile.Which Cities Have The Biggest Racial Gaps In COVID-19 Testing Access?|Soo Rin Kim|July 22, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
The median price of homes listed right now in Andersonville is $451,443.Chicago: A Midwestern Jewel for the LGBTQ Community|LGBTQ-Editor|July 11, 2020|No Straight News
This would restore overtime rights to workers earning up to around $50,000 a year, which is roughly the current median.
Unlike most other telemarketers, they have a median net worth of almost $900,000.Is It Time to Take a Chance on Random Representatives?|Michael Schulson|November 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Median household income peaked in America in 1999, under Bill Clinton, at $56,080.
The median household income in inflation-adjusted dollars back in 1987 was… well, what do you think?
This chart lists median household income in the United States for every year going back to 1967, when it started being measured.
The epigynum consists of a long epigastric furrow with a large lip-like opening near its median line.
Propodeum openly rugoso-punctate, the median channel single, distinct, no median basin.
Cephalothorax suboval, upper margin strongly concave at the sides and tapering to a point at the median line.
Median Stress, where force is applied to the middle of the concrete, producing a swell, or impressive fulness.The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886|Ministry of Education
In brief—distinct grounds, and vivid circular or cycloid figures, of no meaning, are here Median laws.The Works of Edgar Allan Poe|Edgar Allan Poe
British Dictionary definitions for median
- a straight line joining one vertex of a triangle to the midpoint of the opposite sideSee also centroid
- a straight line joining the midpoints of the nonparallel sides of a trapezium
Derived forms of medianmedianly, adverb
Word Origin for median
Medical definitions 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.