- 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
- equally distant from the extremes or outer limits; central: the middle point of a line; the middle singer in a trio.
- intermediate or intervening: the middle distance.
- medium or average: a man of middle size.
- (initial capital letter) (in the history of a language) intermediate between periods classified as Old and New or Modern: Middle English.
- Grammar. (in some languages) noting a voice of verb inflection in which the subject is represented as acting on or for itself, in contrast to the active voice in which the subject acts, and the passive voice in which the subject is acted upon, as in Greek, egrapsámēn “I wrote for myself,” égrapsa “I wrote,” egráphēn “I was written.”
- (often initial capital letter) Stratigraphy. noting the division intermediate between the upper and lower divisions of a period, system, or the like: the Middle Devonian.
- the point, part, position, etc., equidistant from extremes or limits.
- the central part of the human body, especially the waist: He gave him a punch in the middle.
- something intermediate; mean.
- (in farming) the ground between two rows of plants.
- Chiefly Nautical. to fold in half.
Origin of middle
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsso-so, mediocre, passable, run-of-the-mill, medium, okay, fair, average, good, common, intermediate, ordinary, moderate, mean, conventional, decent, indifferent, modest, tolerable, traditional
Examples from the Web for middling
He was living under the alias Alonso Rivera Muñoz as a middling real estate developer and art collector in Querétaro.Trading Dime Bags for Salvador Dali
October 19, 2014
Unlike hoity-toity displays of pedigree fluff, the Average Joe Cat Show is a celebration of middling felines.The Cat's Meow: Top 10 Destinations for Feline Fanatics
December 20, 2013
This is a middling jobs report for the middle of the business cycle.The Slow, Grinding Repair of the American Labor Market
May 3, 2013
France achieved only middling results in an online test by Education First.Why Can’t France Learn English?
March 9, 2013
But if you their incomes to other high earners, doctors in the US are actually kind of middling by OECD standards.Why Would We Cut Doctor Pay?
January 24, 2013
I was middling small, with a square jaw, snub nose and sandy hair.The Harbor
The cod, fished for on this coast, is of the middling sort, and very delicate.The History of Louisiana
Le Page Du Pratz
Round the dough into balls, the size of a middling apple; throw them into boiling water, and let them boil twenty minutes.
This fruit may be kept for several months, if gathered of a middling size at midsummer, and treated in the following manner.
What girl is ever more than middling the week before she's married?The Manxman
- mediocre in quality, size, etc; neither good nor bad, esp in health (often in the phrase fair to middling)
- informal moderatelymiddling well
- equally distant from the ends or periphery of something; central
- intermediate in status, situation, etc
- located between the early and late parts of a series, time sequence, etc
- not extreme, esp in size; medium
- (esp in Greek and Sanskrit grammar) denoting a voice of verbs expressing reciprocal or reflexive actionCompare active (def. 5), passive (def. 5)
- (usually capital) (of a language) intermediate between the earliest and the modern formsMiddle English
- an area or point equal in distance from the ends or periphery or in time between the early and late parts
- an intermediate part or section, such as the waist
- grammar the middle voice
- logic See middle term
- the ground between rows of growing plants
- a discursive article in a journal, placed between the leading articles and the book reviews
- cricket a position on the batting creases in alignment with the middle stumps on which a batsman may take guard
- to place in the middle
- nautical to fold in two
- football to return (the ball) from the wing to midfield
- cricket to hit (the ball) with the middle of the bat
Word Origin and History for middling
1540s, from Scottish mydlyn (mid-15c.), from middle + suffix -ing. Used to designate the second of three grades of goods. As an adverb by 1719.
Old English middel, from West Germanic *middila (cf. Old Frisian middel, Old Saxon middil, Middle Low German, Dutch middel, Old High German mittil, German mittel), from Proto-Germanic *medjaz (see mid). Middle name attested from 1815; as "one's outstanding characteristic," colloquial, from 1911, American English.
According to Mr. H.A. Hamilton, in his "Quarter Sessions from Queen Elizabeth," the practice of giving children two Christian names was unknown in England before the period of the Stuarts, was rarely adopted down to the time of the Revolution, and never became common until after the Hanoverian family was seated on the throne. "In looking through so many volumes of county records," he says, "I have, of course, seen many thousands and tens of thousands of proper names, belonging to men of all ranks and degrees,--to noblemen, justices, jurymen, witnesses, sureties, innkeepers, hawkers, paupers, vagrants, criminals, and others,--and in no single instance, down to the end of the reign of Anne, have I noticed any person bearing more than one Christian name ...." [Walsh]
Middle school attested from 1838, originally "middle-class school, school for middle-class children;" the sense in reference to a school for grades between elementary and high school is from 1960. Middle management is 1957. Middle-of-the-road in the figurative sense is attested from 1894; edges of a dirt road can be washed out and thus less safe. Middle finger so called from c.1000.
Old English middel, from middle (adj.).
Idioms and Phrases with middling
see fair to middling.
see caught in the middle; in the middle of; play both ends against the middle.