Etymology
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middleman (n.)

in the trading sense, "contractor, negotiator, broker," especially "one who buys merchandise in bulk and sells it in smaller quantities to retailers or other traders," 1795, from middle (adj.) + man (n.). From mid-15c. as the name of some type of workman in wire-making. From 1741 as "one who takes a middle course." In minstrel shows, "the man who sits in the middle of the semicircle of performers and leads the dialogue between songs," by 1870.

updated on January 14, 2019

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Definitions of middleman from WordNet

middleman (n.)
someone who buys large quantities of goods and resells to merchants rather than to the ultimate customers;
Synonyms: jobber / wholesaler
middleman (n.)
the performer in the middle of a minstrel line who engages the others in talk;
Synonyms: interlocutor
middleman (n.)
a person who is in a position to give you special assistance;
Synonyms: contact
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.