1. Equally distant from the extreme either of a number of things or of one thing; mean; medial; as, the middle house in a row; a middle rank or station in life; flowers of middle summer; men of middle age.

2. Intermediate; intervening. "Will, seeking good, finds many middle ends." (Sir J. Davies)

Middle is sometimes used in the formation of selfexplaining compounds; as, middle-sized, middle-witted. Middle Ages, the period of time intervening between the decline of the Roman Empire and the revival of letters. Hallam regards it as beginning with the sixth and ending with the fifteenth century. Middle class, in England, people who have an intermediate position between the aristocracy and the artisan class. It includes professional men, bankers, merchants, and small landed proprietors "The middle-class electorate of Great Britain." (M. Arnold) Middle distance.

See Voice. Middle watch, the period from midnight to four A. M.; also, the men on watch during that time. Middle weight, a pugilist, boxer, or wrestler classed as of medium weight, i. E, over 140 and not over 160 lbs, in distinction from those classed as light weights, heavy weights, etc.

Origin: OE. Middel, AS. Middel; akin to D. Middel, OHG. Muttil, G. Mittel. See Mid.

(01 Mar 1998)