SKIP TO CONTENT

mediocre

Mediocre is an adjective that means "merely adequate" or "of only ordinary quality." A "C" is a mediocre grade for students who are fair to middling.

The roots of the adjective mediocre are from the Latin medial, "middle," and ocris, "mountain." If you think about it, the middle of a mountain is neither up nor down and neither here nor there — just somewhere in between. The definition of mediocre is "of ordinary quality," "merely adequate," and "average." Another word that shares the same root is mediocracy, which means "government run by mediocre people" — an all-too-common condition.

Definitions of mediocre
  1. adjective
    moderate to inferior in quality
    “they improved the quality from mediocre to above average”
    synonyms: second-rate
    inferior
    of low or inferior quality
  2. adjective
    lacking exceptional quality or ability
    synonyms: average, fair, middling
    ordinary
    not exceptional in any way especially in quality or ability or size or degree
  3. adjective
    poor to middling in quality
    “there have been good and mediocre and bad artists”
    Synonyms:
    bad
    having undesirable or negative qualities
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week