noun, plural mid·dle·men.

a person who plays an economic role intermediate between producer and retailer or consumer.
a person who acts as an intermediary.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for middleman

Contemporary Examples of middleman

Historical Examples of middleman

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


    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


noun plural -men

an independent trader engaged in the distribution of goods from producer to consumer
an intermediary
theatre the interlocutor in minstrel shows
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

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper