Google definitions states that media has it roots in: late 19th century: shortening of modern Latin tunica (or membrana ) media ‘middle sheath (or layer)’.

This really did not make much sense to me, so I kept looking...

Than I found Medea, of ancient Greek mythology, Medea (/mɪˈdiːə/; Ancient Greek: Μήδεια, Mēdeia means "planner / schemer") is the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis...Wikipedia Article

From this I could construct media as Med-ia, works or articles of or like Medea..., and that seemed to make much more sense to me.

I wanted to see if that was a possibility, or if I'm simply getting "creative" with it.

  • 10
    What makes media "like Medea"? She was most famous for doing witchcraft and murdering her children (depending on the author), neither of which has much to do with methods of communication.
    – Draconis
    Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 23:12
  • well apparently, there is a link to planner / schemer... -- yeah, as for the methods of communication angle -- I think we are clear on that now -- tks Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 2:36
  • 1
    Just remember: Google is not a real dictionary. It's an aggregate of information, and it shows you things based on AI, which means it's very often wrong. Try Etymonline for a more quick yet accurate online look-up tool.
    – cmw
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


The media that is shortened from tunica media is the middle layer of the wall of a blood vessel. Tunica media literally means middle tunic, though tunica was metaphorically extended to mean 'membrane'.

It's not the same as the in origin plural neuter noun media you're thinking of, which is shortened from communications media, where medium (the singular) means 'means'. The Latin noun medium originally also meant 'middle', as it's just a nominal use of the adjective, but that's not the meaning in which it was borrowed in this context.

There's no great mystery in these etymologies. Medea is obviously unrelated.

  • thanks, also I found this etymologeek.com/lat/medium Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 2:39
  • Etymonline also gives a good sense of the relationships between the different meanings of medium: intervening substance, channel of communications, thing in painting that carries the pigment, etc.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 10:57

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.