Etymology
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median (adj.)

"pertaining to or situated in the middle, occupying a middle or intermediate position," 1590s, from French médian (15c.) and directly from Latin medianus "of the middle," from medius "in the middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle"). Originally anatomical, of veins, arteries, nerves; general use is by 1640s. Median strip "narrow strip (paved or not) between lanes of a divided road" is by 1939, American English.

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median (n.)

1540s, "a median part," originally anatomical, from Latin medianus "of the middle" (see median (adj.)). Statistical meaning "middle number of a series" is from 1883.

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mesial (adj.)

"middle, median, pertaining to the middle," 1803, an irregular formation from Greek mesos "middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle") + -al (1). Related: Mesially.

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adduction (n.)

"the act of drawing toward a common center or median line," 1650s, from French adduction (16c.), from Medieval Latin adductionem (nominative adductio), noun of action from past-participle stem of adducere "lead to, bring to" (see adduce). Related: Adduct; adductor; adductive.

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lateral (adj.)

"of or pertaining to the side," early 15c., from Old French latéral (14c.) and directly from Latin lateralis "belonging to the side," from latus (genitive lateris) "the side, flank of humans or animals, lateral surface," a word of uncertain origin. Specific sense "situated on either side of the median vertical longitudinal plane of the body" [Century Dictionary] is from 1722.

As a noun, from 1630s, "a side part;" as a type of pass to the side in U.S. football, it is attested from 1934 (short for lateral pass). Related: Laterally.

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mage (n.)

"magician, enchanter," c. 1400, Englished form of Latin magus "magician, learned magician," from Greek magos, a word used for the Persian learned and priestly class as portrayed in the Bible (said by ancient historians to have been originally the name of a Median tribe), from Old Persian magush "magician" (see magic and compare magi). An "archaic" word by late 19c. (OED), revived by fantasy games.

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magi (n.)

c. 1200, "skilled magicians, astrologers," from Latin magi, plural of magus "magician, learned magician," from Greek magos, a word used for the Persian learned and priestly class as portrayed in the Bible (said by ancient historians to have been originally the name of a Median tribe), from Old Persian magush "magician" (see magic). Also, in Christian history, the "wise men" who, according to Matthew, came from the east to Jerusalem to do homage to the newborn Christ (late 14c.). Related: Magian.

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mediant (n.)

in music, "third note of the diatonic scale" (the one which determines whether the scale is major or minor), 1753, from Italian mediante, from Late Latin mediantem (nominative medians) "dividing in the middle," present participle of mediare "to be in the middle," from Latin medius "middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle"). So called from being midway between the tonic and the dominant.

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meridian (n.)

mid-14c., "noon, midday," from Old French meridien "of the noon time, midday; the meridian; a southerner" (12c.), and directly from Latin meridianus "of midday, of noon, southerly, to the south," from meridies "noon, south," from meridie "at noon," altered by dissimilation from pre-Latin *medi die, locative of medius "mid-" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle") + dies "day" (from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine").

The cartographic sense of "a great circle or half-circle of a sphere passing through the poles" is attested from late 14c., originally astronomical. Figurative uses tend to suggest "point of highest development or fullest power," implying a subsequent decline. As an adjective from late 14c. Related: Meridional. The city in Mississippi, U.S., was settled 1854 (as Sowashee Station) at a railway junction and given its current name in 1860, supposedly by people who thought meridian meant "junction" (they perhaps confused the word with median).

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