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middling

[mid-ling]
adjective
  1. medium, moderate, oraverage in size, quantity, or quality: The returns on such a large investment may be only middling.
  2. mediocre; ordinary; commonplace; pedestrian: The restaurant's entrées are no better than middling.
  3. Older Use. in fairly good health.
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adverb
  1. moderately; fairly.
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noun
  1. middlings, any of various products or commodities of intermediate quality, grade, size, etc., as the coarser particles of ground wheat mingled with bran.
  2. Often middlings. Also called middling meat. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. salt pork or smoked side meat.
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Origin of middling

1375–1425; late Middle English (north). See mid1, -ling2
Related formsmid·dling·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for middlings

middlings

pl n
  1. the poorer or coarser part of flour or other products
  2. commodities of intermediate grade, quality, size, or price
  3. mainly US the part of a pig between the ham and shoulder
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middling

adjective
  1. mediocre in quality, size, etc; neither good nor bad, esp in health (often in the phrase fair to middling)
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adverb
  1. informal moderatelymiddling well
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Derived Formsmiddlingly, adverb

Word Origin

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

middling

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with middlings

middling

see fair to middling.

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