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middle child (plural middle children)

  1. (psychology) In an immediate family containing three children, the child who is neither the oldest nor the youngest, often believed to receive less parental attention than do his or her two siblings and to have skills as a mediator.
    • 1946, George Orwell, "Why I Write":
      I was the middle child of three, but there was a gap of five years on either side, and I barely saw my father before I was eight. For this and other reasons I was somewhat lonely.
    • 1987 Feb. 15, Jean M. Sarosy, "Topics: The Unseen Woman," New York Times (retrieved 27 April 2014):
      As a middle child, you're not Mommy's big girl nor her little boy; you're just there.
    • 2002 March 30, Richard Corliss, "That Old Feeling: "E.T." Goes Home," Time (retrieved 27 April 2014):
      Elliott [is] the forgotten 10-year-old middle child between a teenager with a lot of friends and a precocious golden girl.
    • 2013 Oct. 17, Carolyn Hax, "Tell Me About It: Middle-child syndrome, 2d generation," (retrieved 28 April 2014):
      My husband is the classic middle child, the peacemaker often overlooked by his parents.

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