Definition: The value which has an equal number of values greater and less than it. For an even number of values, it is the mean of the two middle values.

See also mean, mode, midrange, Select, select and partition.

Note: The median is the "middle" value. The median of 1, 1, 3, 50, and 60 is 3 since two elements (1 and 1) are less than it and two elements (50 and 60) are greater. The median of 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, and 4 is 2.5, the mean of 2 and 3.

Author: PEB


select kth element (Pascal and C++)
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Entry modified 16 November 2009.
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Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "median", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Vreda Pieterse and Paul E. Black, eds. 16 November 2009. (accessed TODAY) Available from: