middle

Definitions

Cricket

  • noun the thick central part of the bat; the meat
    Citation ‘The dreaded “edge”is a massive 40 per cent of the blade’s 580 sq cm … but you want to use only the “middle”, about 120 sq cm’ (Dr Richie Meyer, WCM March 1994)
    Citation ‘It came off the middle-of-the-middle, with the batsman’s body perfectly positioned for the pull, and it was struck in an imperious Caribbean style’ (Purandare 2005)
  • noun the middle stump of the batsman’s wicket
    Citation ‘In the second innings, Lara shimmied down the pitch, misjudged the length, and the ball turned obligingly out of the rough and through the gate before hitting middle’ (Vic Marks, Wisden 2005)
  • verb to hit the ball cleanly with the middle of the bat
    Citation ‘Lamb strode to the wicket soon after lunch at 58 for two, and from the outset middled the ball on his way to his third Test century’ (Robin Marlar, Sunday Times 28 August 1983)

Medical

  • noun the centre or central point of something
  • noun the waist or stomach area

Origin & History of “middle”

Middle traces its ancestry back to Indo-European *medhjo-, which also produced Latin medius ‘middle’ (source of English mediate, medium, etc) and Greek mésos ‘middle’ (source of the English prefix meso-). Its prehistoric Germanic descendant was *mithja-, which has given English the adjective mid (OE) and the derived noun midst (14th c.). from *mithja- was formed in west Germanic the adjective *middila, which has given modern German mittel, Dutch middel, and English middle.
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