[ mid-ling ]
/ ˈmɪd lɪŋ /


medium, moderate, oraverage in size, quantity, or quality: The returns on such a large investment may be only middling.
mediocre; ordinary; commonplace; pedestrian: The restaurant's entrées are no better than middling.
Older Use. in fairly good health.


moderately; fairly.


middlings, any of various products or commodities of intermediate quality, grade, size, etc., as the coarser particles of ground wheat mingled with bran.
Often middlings. Also called middling meat. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. salt pork or smoked side meat.

Origin of middling

1375–1425; late Middle English (north). See mid1, -ling2


mid·dling·ly, adverb

Definition for middling (2 of 2)

[ mid-l ]
/ ˈmɪd l /



verb (used with or without object), mid·dled, mid·dling.

Chiefly Nautical. to fold in half.

Origin of middle

before 900; Middle English, Old English middel; cognate with German mittel; akin to Old Norse methal among. See mid1


7 midpoint. Middle, center, midst indicate something from which two or more other things are (approximately or exactly) equally distant. Middle denotes, literally or figuratively, the point or part equidistant from or intermediate between extremes or limits in space or in time: the middle of a road. Center, a more precise word, is ordinarily applied to a point within circular, globular, or regular bodies, or wherever a similar exactness appears to exist: the center of the earth; it may also be used metaphorically (still suggesting the core of a sphere): center of interest. Midst usually suggests that a person or thing is closely surrounded or encompassed on all sides, especially by that which is thick or dense: the midst of a storm.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for middling

British Dictionary definitions for middling (1 of 2)

/ (ˈmɪdlɪŋ) /


mediocre in quality, size, etc; neither good nor bad, esp in health (often in the phrase fair to middling)


informal moderatelymiddling well

Derived forms of middling

middlingly, adverb

Word Origin for middling

C15 (northern English and Scottish): from mid 1 + -ling ²

British Dictionary definitions for middling (2 of 2)

/ (ˈmɪdəl) /



verb (tr)

Word Origin for middle

Old English middel; compare Old Frisian middel, Dutch middel, German mittel
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

Idioms and Phrases with middling (1 of 2)


see fair to middling.

Idioms and Phrases with middling (2 of 2)


see caught in the middle; in the middle of; play both ends against the middle.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.