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middleman

[mid-l-man]
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noun, plural mid·dle·men.
  1. a person who plays an economic role intermediate between producer and retailer or consumer.
  2. a person who acts as an intermediary.
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Origin of middleman

1400–50; late Middle English: maker of girdles; see middle, man1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

go-betweenmediatorwholesalerintermediatorinfluenceintercessorbrokeragententrepreneurconnectionintermediaterepresentativedistributorsalesmanfixerjobberinterceder

Examples from the Web for middleman

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • These landscape fellows buy their stuff direct, and the middleman's out.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • When the brick-house era sets in, the middleman will be rampant.

  • The middleman has several and can thus adjust himself quickly.

    Herbert Hoover

    Vernon Kellogg

  • The important thing for you is that he is the middleman on whom you depend for the disease.

    By the Christmas Fire

    Samuel McChord Crothers

  • We're getting our goods cheap and we're cuttin' off the middleman.

    A Spoil of Office

    Hamlin Garland


British Dictionary definitions for middleman

middleman

noun plural -men
  1. an independent trader engaged in the distribution of goods from producer to consumer
  2. an intermediary
  3. theatre the interlocutor in minstrel shows
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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 middleman

n.

in the trading sense, 1795, from middle + man. From mid-15c. as the name of some type of workman in wire-making. From 1741 as "one who takes a middle course."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper