Definition of middling in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmidliNG/ /ˈmɪdlɪŋ/

Translate middling into Spanish


  • 1Moderate or average in size, amount, or rank.

    ‘the village contained no poor households but a lot of middling ones’
    • ‘And yet, by the end of the century, its economy had declined to occupy a middling rank among Western industrialized nations, with its GDP per head below the average for the European Union.’
    • ‘Coming from a family of middling rank, he received little formal education, but soon developed a penchant for self-improvement and an ambition to better himself.’
    • ‘Below that level, it is probable that there was much greater continuity, though we face the predictable problem that the evidence reveals little about the middling ranks of society.’
    • ‘It is a culture associated with the middling ranks of Scottish society, with the Scottish universities, and with the clubs, societies, and salons of Edinburgh.’
    • ‘We had a feeling it would either go like hot cakes or flop so we ordered a middling amount and we were about right.’
    • ‘The average Brit spends longer on the job than any other European in return for no more than an average GNP per capita and middling or low wages.’
    • ‘He followed a line of England managers who had had middling amounts of success but who had never realised the strong ambitions of a nation which yearns for success.’
    • ‘While most people have a middling amount of good and bad luck, some people are lucky or unlucky for extended periods.’
    • ‘They either need to work or want to work, or both, but for those on middling incomes it is not possible to have lots of babies as well.’
    • ‘Perhaps the system will evolve toward a Gaussian distribution, with most people having a middling amount of money, while a few are very poor and a few are rich?’
    • ‘Women reply to rich men but, for some reason, men prefer women with middling incomes.’
    • ‘The essayists are not all British but all of their expositions are measured, well stated summations of a middling to moderately conservative treatment of Paul.’
    • ‘I thought she would be middling height or lower - not tall.’
    • ‘Rising rents have fed growth, too, but in SPG's regional malls they gained a middling 7% a year on average since 1996.’
    • ‘One is that in the 1980s you find that per capita income growth in the United States was middling.’
    • ‘While happy to mingle with aristocracy and royalty, he retained pride in his middling origins, claiming that the name Franklin itself echoed the status of his long line of freeholding ancestors.’
    • ‘His satirical little scheme to create a band so manufactured that they didn't actually exist at all (except in cartoon form) could easily have achieved middling success, or flopped entirely.’
    • ‘They've always had something more important to attend to - the creation of huge, middling and small fortunes for those who hold power.’
    • ‘The route takes one round the middling slopes rather than over the tops of the low hills, and the surrounding countryside is rolling and gentle, so the feel is of shelter and calm more than distance and drama.’
    • ‘The public, better employed, with higher incomes, sometimes joined in bemoaning higher taxes which were, in fact, minimally extra on most middling earners.’
    average, standard, normal, middle-of-the-road, in-between, medium
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Neither very good nor very bad.
      ‘he had had a fair to middling season’
      • ‘Colors are properly saturated and vibrant, black levels are solid, though the sharpness is good to middling.’
      • ‘The other candidates were all fair to middling.’
      • ‘To say it has been a whirlwind for the 26-year-old would be like saying Franz Ferdinand's year was, well, fair to middling.’
      • ‘Ireland are no more than a fair to middling international rugby side - and that's when their two world-class players are fit.’
      • ‘For the paranoid fantasists amongst us there's a fair to middling chance that he didn't even leave continental USA.’
      • ‘Our performance on the show this evening was fair to middling, I would say.’
      • ‘Music was meant to be heard through a surreal filter, and without it, the fair to middling material confronting me daily is left painfully naked, bereft of the alchemic powers of those magical elixirs.’
      • ‘But on balance, his season so far is fair to middling.’
      • ‘As taxi drivers they are fair to middling, but with questionable standards of personal hygiene.’
      • ‘When we asked folks to rate leaders in various types of organizations, most got middling to poor grades on integrity.’
      • ‘Klepp said he stayed in bed so as to ascertain whether his heath was good, middling, or poor.’
      • ‘Forget the middling reviews you may have read previous to this one.’
      • ‘The source material looks to have been in but middling shape, since the disc shows a fair bit of speckling with scratches and debris noticeable, particularly at the start and at reel changes.’
      • ‘The more disillusioned they became, the less rancor they felt about the present day - which may help to explain the film's middling box-office career.’
      • ‘After the middling and mundane meal, a sub-group is scooting off to see a play around the corner, while several latecomers stay to eat and chat.’
    2. 1.2informal predicative (of a person) in reasonably good but not perfect health.
      • ‘“How are you?” - “Middling,” he admitted’


  • Bulk goods of medium grade, especially flour of medium fineness.

    ‘The DF fed in this study contained 75% wheat middlings and 25% ground food waste collected from retail groceries.’
    • ‘During winter, the heifers grazed dormant crested wheatgrass and were supplemented with wheat middlings and alfalfa hay.’
    • ‘We're evaluating the production performance of fish fed these alternative carbohydrates to see whether they perform as well as fish fed diets that contain wheat or wheat middlings.’
    • ‘However, by-product feeds such as wheat middlings decrease growth performance of beef cattle when used at high levels in high concentrate diets.’
    • ‘These data indicate that traditional feedstuffs such as wheat middlings and soybean hulls can be nutritionally enhanced when amended with food waste and further processed by extruding or dehydrating.’
    • ‘With the addition of corn and wheat middlings in this study, the FW product used as a dietary component appeared to have potential value as a feed.’
    • ‘The price of wheat middlings may preclude their use in a dehydrated mixture containing human food waste, and acceptance of the feed product by producers may limit the retail value of DF as a feedstuff.’
    • ‘The food waste was obtained primarily from grocery stores and contained 75% moisture prior to mixing with wheat middlings.’
    • ‘The price of wheat middlings might have a greater impact on the comparative economic value of DF than the cost per unit of the feedstuffs that the DF replaces in the diet of the cow.’
    • ‘Wheat middlings were added to the CS diets to ensure that there would be similar fiber levels in the two treatments.’
    • ‘The use of by-product feeds, such as wheat middlings, has the potential to decrease production costs when used in a RS feeding program.’
    • ‘The goal of this study was to determine the nutritive value of a FW product containing FW, corn, and wheat middlings.’
    • ‘Fibrous feeds such as beet pulp, chopped alfalfa hay, rice hulls and wheat middlings elevate fiber content of a complete feed.’
    • ‘Wheat middlings were a primary ingredient in the protein supplements used in both trials.’


informal, dated as submodifier
  • Fairly or moderately.

    • ‘middling rich’
    • ‘A quick weather report for this morning is grey - headlights required - rain varying from slight drizzle to middling continuous.’
    • ‘In his study of fruit flies he had found that male fruit flies tend to have either lots of hairs on their bottoms or very few; female fruit flies have just middling hairy bottoms.’
    • ‘I finished my writing course, which was middling interesting, I guess.’
    • ‘Elsewhere, two middling indie efforts make up the numbers.’


Late Middle English (originally Scots): probably from mid- + the adverbial suffix -ling.