Media vs Medium: Which One to Use?

Medium vs. media? Many people confuse these two words, especially when “media” is one of the plural forms of the word “medium.” But they have different meanings! So, when do you use media or medium? Let’s dive in and understand the difference between these two words.

What Is Media?

picture of the general meaning of media

Media has different meanings. One of its most popular definitions is in reference to television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the internet, which disseminate information, news, and advertising. How about in other usages? 

  • Biology: Media refers to a substance in microorganisms, cells, or tissues cultured. It can also mean the middle layer or substance in something, such as a wall or tissue.
  • Computing: Media is a type of computer storage that can store and retrieve data, such as disk or tape.
  • Art: It refers to a material, such as ink or metal, used in printing or making a work of art.
  • Journalism: Media is a collective group of journalists and other professionals. The media produce news and entertainment for mass communication channels.

Media can be an adjective, noun, or verb. One can also use it in its plural form, “media,” which refers to many forms of communication.

Here are the meanings of media in different word forms:

  • Adjective: Employed to define a noun about mass communication. One can say, “Victor, the media analyst, is retiring after 45 years on the job.” Here we see the word media gives more information about the noun Victor.
  • Noun: A collective word used to identify channels of mass communication. “They could only afford one media due to budget constraints. The newspaper was the only affordable media to advertise their business.” In this sentence, media is the subject to point out a communication channel.
  • Verb: The act of providing information to the public through mass communication. “Wang’s beauty shop didn’t get any clients until she media her goods.” In this sentence, media is an action.
  • Plural: Many medium make media. It defines the means of mass communication. Face-to-face, written, and nonverbal communication make a strong media presence.


  • Adjective: Julie, the social media influencer, got a million more followers.
  • Noun: Social platforms are the best media to advertise a business.
  • Verb: The company decided to media their new product launch.
  • Plural: The lecturer instructed us to implore media tactics to present our projects.

What Is Medium?

picture showing the different meanings of medium

Just like the word “media,” “medium” have a wide range of meanings: 

  • Art: Medium is the artistic materials you use to create artwork. 
  • Biology: It’s the substratum or nutrient solution that a cell can grow in. 
  • Occult studies: A medium connects with spirits and conveys messages. We call them a “psychic medium.” The plural form of this definition of medium is mediums.

The word medium can be an adjective, noun, verb, or plural form. Here are the uses of medium in different parts of speech: 

  • Adjective: In the middle or average in size or amount.
  • Noun: A means of expression or communication. It can also mean someone who receives messages from the dead. 
  • Verb: To produce something using a particular medium
  • Plural: Materials or substances used to create a work of art


  • Adjective: The medium-sized cake was perfect for the party.
  • Noun: Painting is her preferred medium of expression.
  • Verb: She decided to medium her ideas in a painting.
  • Plural: In sculpture, some artists’ mediums include stone, clay, and plaster.

How to Choose the Right Word

Media vs. media, which word is suitable to use? To choose the correct word, you need to focus on the context of your statement. 

If your sentence is about the mass communication industry (digital media, news media, and other types of media that are considered a channel of communication), use the word “media.” 

So, what does medium mean? When should you use it? Whenever referring to specific means of conveying information, use “medium.” You can also use “medium” for art materials.

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, medium vs. media may seem similar, but they have different meanings and uses. They can be confusing, so make sure to focus on context so you can differentiate them.

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