Meaning of “middle” in the English Dictionary

"middle" in British English

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middlenoun

uk /ˈmɪd.əl/ us /ˈmɪd.əl/

A2 [ S ] the central point, position, or part:

This is my class photo - I'm the one in the middle.
He was standing in the middle of the road.
The noise woke us up in the middle of the night.

[ C usually singular ] informal waist:

Those trousers look a bit tight around your middle.

More examples

  • Is that cake cooked properly in the middle?
  • The princess lived all alone in the middle of the forest.
  • What do those marks in the middle of the road mean?
  • The football player kicked the ball slap into the middle of the net.
  • The shelf isn't straight - it sags in the middle.

middleadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈmɪd.əl/ us /ˈmɪd.əl/

B2 in a central position:

In the sequence a, b, c, d, e, the middle letter is c.
Jane sits at the middle desk, between Sue and Karen.

C1 neither high nor low in importance, amount, or size:

a middle-sized (= average-sized) sheepdog

A middle child has the same number of older brothers and sisters as younger brothers and sisters:

She's the middle child of three.

used to refer to a form of a particular language that existed between its earliest known stage and its present form:

14th-century Middle English
Middle French

More examples

  • This course aims to prepare students for middle and senior managerial positions.
  • The story was relegated to the middle pages of the paper.
  • For the umpteenth time, Anthony, knives and forks go in the middle drawer!
  • Aim carefully at the target and try to hit the middle circle.
  • Ours is the middle house at the end - the one with the green door.

(Definition of “middle” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"middle" in American English

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middlenoun [ C usually sing ]

us /ˈmɪd·əl/

a point, position, or part that is not on one side or the other but is equally far from things on either side; the central point, position, or part:

This is my class photo – I’m the one in the middle.

The middle of a period of time is a point between the beginning and the end of that period:

The noise woke us up in the middle of the night.

infml Your middle is your waist.

middle
adjective [ not gradable ] us /ˈmɪd·əl/

In the sequence a, b, c, d, e, the middle letter is c.

(Definition of “middle” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)