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[mid-l-man] /ˈmɪd lˌmæn/
noun, plural middlemen.
a person who plays an economic role intermediate between producer and retailer or consumer.
a person who acts as an intermediary.
Origin of middleman
1400-50; late Middle English: maker of girdles; see middle, man1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for middleman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is unnecessary to say that he was grieved at the painful consequences of the middleman system, and of sub-letting in general.

  • These landscape fellows buy their stuff direct, and the middleman's out.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • When we finally eliminate combinations in restraint of trade, the middleman abuses may be in the process of passing out.

  • The middleman has several and can thus adjust himself quickly.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • He is a provider of natural produce, manufacturer, middleman and consumer, all in one.

    The Forest Farm Peter Rosegger
British Dictionary definitions for middleman


noun (pl) -men
an independent trader engaged in the distribution of goods from producer to consumer
an intermediary
(theatre) the interlocutor in minstrel shows
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for middleman

in the trading sense, 1795, from middle + man. From mid-15c. as the name of some type of workman in wire-making. From 1741 as "one who takes a middle course."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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