[med-i-tuh-rey-nee-uh n]
  1. Mediterranean Sea.
  2. a person whose physical characteristics are considered typical of the peoples native to or inhabiting the Mediterranean area.
  3. the, Informal. the islands and countries of the Mediterranean Sea collectively.
  1. pertaining to, situated on or near, or dwelling about the Mediterranean Sea.
  2. pertaining to or characteristic of the peoples native to the lands along or near the Mediterranean Sea.
  3. surrounded or nearly surrounded by land.

Origin of Mediterranean

1585–95; < Latin mediterrāne(us) midland, inland (see medium, terra, -an, -eous) + -an
Related formsnon-Med·i·ter·ra·ne·an, noun, adjectivetrans-Med·i·ter·ra·ne·an, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mediterranean

Contemporary Examples of mediterranean

Historical Examples of mediterranean

  • If he was badly off, so, too, were many other boys and girls in that Mediterranean island.

  • This was blockading the Atlantic against their enemies, and the Mediterranean against their own ships.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I now inquired for the Brandywine, but found she had sailed for the Mediterranean.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The affairs of the Mediterranean wore at this time a gloomy aspect.

  • Long cables had been submerged in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

British Dictionary definitions for mediterranean


  1. short for the Mediterranean Sea
  2. a native or inhabitant of a Mediterranean country
  1. of, relating to, situated or dwelling on or near the Mediterranean Sea
  2. denoting a postulated subdivision of the Caucasoid race, characterized by slender build and dark complexion
  3. meteorol (of a climate) characterized by hot summers and relatively warm winters when most of the annual rainfall occurs
  4. (often not capital) obsolete situated in the middle of a landmass; inland

Word Origin for Mediterranean

C16: from Latin mediterrāneus, from medius middle + -terrāneus, from terra land, earth
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 mediterranean


"the sea between southern Europe and northern Africa," c.1400, from Late Latin Mediterraneum mare "Mediterranean Sea" (7c.), from Latin mediterraneus "midland;" the original sense being of "sea in the middle of the earth," from medius "middle" (see medial (adj.)) + terra "land, earth" (see terrain). The Old English name was Wendel-sæ, so called for the Vandals, Germanic tribe that settled on the southwest coast of it after the fall of Rome. The noun meaning "a person of Mediterranean race" is from 1888.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper