Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Moderate to inferior in quality; ordinary. See Synonyms at average.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Ordinary: not extraordinary; not special, exceptional, or great; of medium quality;

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of a middle quality; of but a moderate or low degree of excellence; indifferent; ordinary.
  • n. A mediocre person; a mediocrity.
  • n. A young monk who was excused from performing a portion of a monk's duties.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of moderate degree or quality; middling; indifferent; ordinary.
  • n. One of middling quality, talents, or merit.
  • n. A monk between twenty-four and forty years of age, who was excused from the office of the chantry and from reading the epistle and gospel, but performed his duty in choir, cloister, and refectory.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. lacking exceptional quality or ability
  • adj. moderate to inferior in quality
  • adj. poor to middling in quality

Etymologies

French médiocre, from Latin mediocris : medius, middle; see medhyo- in Indo-European roots + ocris, a rugged mountain; see ak- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the late Middle English medioker, from the French médiocre, from the Middle French médiocre, from the Classical Latin mediocris ("in a middle state”, “of middle size”, “middling”, “moderate”, “ordinary"), from medius ("middle") + ocris ("rugged mountain"); compare mediocrely and mediocrity. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • WIZARD
    Why, anybody can have a brain. That's a
    very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous
    creature that crawls on the earth -- or
    slinks through slimy seas has a brain!

    June 10, 2010

  • "Pritchard sighed. 'At my age, I have to work harder and harder to have just a mediocre time, Sheriff.'"
    - 'The Dark Half', Stephen King.

    December 31, 2007