middle ( middles plural )
1 n-count Themiddleof something is the part of it that is furthest from its edges, ends, or outside surface.
usu the N in sing, oft N of n
Howard stood in the middle of the room sipping a cup of coffee..., Hyde accelerated away from the kerb, swerving out into the middle of the street..., Make sure the roast potatoes aren't raw in the middle.
the middle of nowhere
2 adj The middle object in a row of objects is the one that has an equal number of objects on each side.
The middle button of his uniform jacket was strained over his belly., ...the middle finger of her left hand.
3 n-sing Themiddleof an event or period of time is the part that comes after the first part and before the last part.
the N of n
I woke up in the middle of the night and could hear a tapping on the window..., It was now the middle of November, cold and often foggy...
Middle is also an adjective., adj ADJ n
The month began and ended quite dry, but the middle fortnight saw nearly 100mm of rain fall nationwide.
4 adj The middle course or way is a moderate course of action that lies between two opposite and extreme courses.
He favoured a middle course between free enterprise and state intervention...
5 If you divide or split something down the middle, you divide or split it into two equal halves or groups.
down the middle phrase PHR after v
They agreed to split the bill down the middle...
6 If you are in the middle of doing something, you are busy doing it.
in the middle of phrase v-link PHR -ing/n It's a bit hectic. I'm in the middle of cooking for nine people...
Middle age is the period in your life when you are no longer young but have not yet become old. Middle age is usually considered to take place between the ages of 40 and 60. n-uncount
Men tend to put on weight in middle age.
1 adj If you describe someone as middle-aged, you mean that they are neither young nor old. People between the ages of 40 and 60 are usually considered to be middle-aged.
...middle-aged, married businessmen.
2 adj If you describe someone's activities or interests as middle-aged, you are critical of them because you think they are typical of a middle-aged person, for example by being conventional or old-fashioned., (disapproval)
Her novels are middle-aged and boring.
In European history, the Middle Ages was the period between the end of the Roman Empire in 476 AD and about 1500 AD, especially the later part of this period. n-plural the N
1 n-uncount Journalists use Middle America to refer to middle class people in America who are believed not to like change.
People in the United States want the president to pay attention to Middle America.
2 n-proper Middle America is the same as the Midwest.
3 n-proper Middle America is used to refer to the area consisting of Mexico and Central America, sometimes including the West Indies.
middle class ( middle classes plural ) Themiddle class or middle classes are the people in a society who are not working class or upper class. Business people, managers, doctors, lawyers, and teachers are usually regarded as middle class. n-count-coll usu the N
...the expansion of the middle class in the late 19th century..., The President may have secured some support from the middle classes.
Middle class is also an adjective., adj
He is rapidly losing the support of blue-collar voters and of middle-class conservatives...
1 n-sing If you are looking into themiddle distance, you are looking at a place that is neither near nor far away.
the N, usu into/in the N
He stares detachedly into the middle distance, towards nothing in particular.
2 adj A middle-distance runner is someone who takes part in races of medium length, for example 800 metres.
TheMiddle East is the area around the eastern Mediterranean that includes Iran and all the countries in Asia to the west and south-west of Iran. n-proper the N
The two great rivers of the Middle East rise in the mountains of Turkey.
Middle Eastern means relating to the Middle East. adj ADJ n
Most Middle Eastern countries have extremely high rates of population growth...
Journalists use Middle England to refer to middle class people in England who are believed not to like change. n-uncount
This shows that the people of Middle England no longer trust the Tories.
Middle management refers to managers who are below the top level of management, and who are responsible for controlling and running an organization rather than making decisions about how it operates. (BUSINESS) n-uncount
The proportion of women in middle management has risen to 40%., ...middle-management jobs.
middle name ( middle names plural )
1 n-count Your middle name is the name that comes between your first name and your surname.
usu poss N
His middle name is Justin.
2 n-count You can use middle name in expressions such as `discretion was her middle name' and `his middle name is loyalty' to indicate that someone always behaves with a great deal of a particular quality.
HUMOROUS usu poss N
Geniality is my middle name. I rarely write a fierce word about any restaurant.
1 adj If you describe someone's opinions or policies as middle-of-the-road, you mean that they are neither left-wing nor right-wing, and not at all extreme.
Consensus need not be weak, nor need it result in middle-of-the-road policies.
2 adj If you describe something or someone as middle-of-the-road, you mean that they are ordinary or unexciting.
I actually don't want to be a middle-of-the-road person, married with a mortgage.
3 adj Middle-of-the-road music is pop music which a large number of people like because it is pleasant and does not sound extreme or unusual. The abbreviation MOR is also used.
I like cheerful, uplifting middle-of-the-road pop.
A middle-ranking person has a fairly important or responsible position in a particular organization, but is not one of the most important people in it. adj ADJ n
...middle-ranking army officers.
middle school ( middle schools plural )
1 n-var In the United States, a middle school is a school for children in the fifth to eighth grades, between the ages of 10 and 13 or 14.
oft in names after n
...Harlem Park Middle School...
2 n-var In Britain, a middle school is a state school that children go to between the ages of 8 or 9 and 12 or 13.
oft in names after n
The Middle West is the central part of the United States. n-proper the N
piggy-in-the-middle , pig-in-the-middle
1 n-uncount Piggy-in-the-middle or pig-in-the-middle is a game in which two children throw a ball to each other and a child standing between them tries to catch it.
2 n-sing If someone is piggy-in-the-middle or pig-in-the-middle, they are unwillingly involved in a dispute between two people or groups.
(BRIT) also no det