What is a Medium?
According to the online American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition
(Houghton Mifflin, 2000), "me-di-um" is a noun with two forms in the plural --
either "me-di-a" or "me-di-ums." [Note how many opportunities and difficulties the following definitions offer:]
- 1. Something, such as an intermediate course of action, that occupies a position or represents a condition midway between extremes.
- 2. An intervening substance through which something else is transmitted or carried on.
- 3. An agency by which something is accomplished, conveyed, or transferred: The train was the usual medium of transportation in those days.
- 4. pl. media Usage Problem.
- a. A means of mass communication, such as newpapers, magazines, radio, or television.
- b. media (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The group of journalists and others who constitute the communications industry and profession.
- 5. pl. media Computer Science. An object or device, such as a disk, on which data is stored.
- 6. pl. mediums A person thought to have the power to communicate with the spirits of the dead or with agents of another world or dimension. Also called psychic.
- 7. pl. media
- a. A surrounding environment in which something functions and thrives.
- b. The substance in which a specific organism lives and thrives.
- c. A culture medium.
- a. A specific kind of artistic technique or means of expression as determined by the materials used or the creative methods involved: the medium of lithography.
- b. The materials used in a specific artistic technique: oils as a medium.
- 9. A solvent with which paint is thinned to the proper consistency.
- 10. Chemistry. A filtering substance, such as filter paper.
- 11. A size of paper, usually 18 x 23 inches or 17 1/2 x 22 inches.
Last updated: 20 July 2002