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”


    of low or inferior quality
  2. adjective

    lacking exceptional quality or ability

    average, fair, middling


    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”


    having undesirable or negative qualities

Word Family