[ mee-dee-ey-shuhn ]
/ ˌmi diˈeɪ ʃən /
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action in mediating between parties, as to effect an agreement or reconciliation.
International Law. an attempt to effect a peaceful settlement between disputing nations through the friendly good offices of another power.
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Origin of mediation

1350–1400; Middle English, from Medieval Latin mediātiōn- (stem of mediātiō). See mediate, -ion

synonym study for mediation

1. Mediation, arbitration designate processes for bringing about agreement or reconciliation between opponents in a dispute. Mediation implies deliberation that results in solutions that may or may not be accepted by the contending parties. Arbitration involves a more formal deliberation, it being understood that the results will be binding on the contending parties.


non·me·di·a·tion, nounsub·me·di·a·tion, noun


arbitration, mediation (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does mediation mean?

Mediation is the act or process of mediating—helping to settle a dispute or create agreement when there is conflict between two or more people or groups by acting as an intermediary or go-between for those parties.

A person who acts as an intermediary or go-between in this way can be called a mediator. Mediation always involves a mediator acting as an impartial third party to guide the communication between the conflicting parties.

Sometimes, mediation happens in an informal way. You might help two friends participate in an informal mediation to help settle an argument. But the word is perhaps most commonly used in more specific ways in formal situations, such as mediation between a company and its striking employees or mediation between spouses who are getting divorced.

When mediation occurs in an official or legal context, such as when it has been ordered by a judge, it is often called arbitration. Arbitration usually involves a decision that the parties are bound by. Mediation is typically less formal and usually involves suggestions for settling differences, as opposed to binding decisions.

Example: I know you two have your differences, so I recommend engaging in some formal mediation to see if you can come to an understanding.

Where does mediation come from?

The first records of the word mediation come from the 1300s. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb mediāre, meaning “to be in the middle” or “to intercede.” The words intermediary and medium are related.

Mediation involves a third party interceding in the middle of a conflict. This person, called a mediator, is not there to take sides but instead to help promote agreement or reconciliation. In other words, the point of mediation is to find common ground so that there is no longer a need for a mediator. Successful mediation often involves compromise.

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What are some other forms related to mediation?

What are some synonyms for mediation?

What are some words that share a root or word element with mediation

What are some words that often get used in discussing mediation?


How is mediation used in real life?

The word mediation is most commonly used in formal contexts.



Try using mediation!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of mediation?

A. argument
B. reconciliation
C. arbitration
D. conciliation

How to use mediation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mediation

/ (ˌmiːdɪˈeɪʃən) /

the act of mediating; intercession
international law an attempt to reconcile disputed matters arising between states, esp by the friendly intervention of a neutral power
a method of resolving an industrial dispute whereby a third party consults with those involved and recommends a solution which is not, however, binding on the parties
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

Cultural definitions for mediation


The attempt to settle a dispute through a neutral party.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.