# Dictionary.com *Word FAQs*

### What is the difference between average, mean, median, and mode?

**Mean** (or *arithmetic mean*) is a type of **average**. It is computed by adding the values and dividing by the number of values. **Average** is a synonym for *arithmetic mean* - which is the value obtained by dividing the sum of a set of quantities by the number of quantities in the set. An example is (3 + 4 + 5) ÷ 3 = 4. The **average** or **mean** is 4. Two other common forms of **averages** are the **median** and **mode**. The **median** is the middle value of the set when they are ordered by rank - or the point in a series of numbers above and below which is half of the series. An example would be: The **median** income of a four-person family in Connecticut is $82,517. The **mode** is the most frequent value in a set of data. If you had nine students taking an exam and the scores were: 91, 84, 56, 90, 70, 65, 90, 90, 30 - then the **mode** is 90, the most common score. The **median** (middle) score is 84.