[ 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for middlings

British Dictionary definitions for middlings (1 of 2)

/ (ˈmɪdlɪŋz) /

pl n

the poorer or coarser part of flour or other products
commodities of intermediate grade, quality, size, or price
mainly US the part of a pig between the ham and shoulder

British Dictionary definitions for middlings (2 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
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 middlings


see fair to middling.

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