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Catholic Dictionary




In general, that which is in between others. It may be the 'mean term" in a comparison, or the intermediate between two extremes. In moral behavior it is the moderate and reasonable way of acting, without failing by excess or defect, as courage is a mean between rashness and cowardice. It is therefore the mean of moral virtue, which does the right thing in the right way, in the right measure at the right time and place and by the right person. In political theory the mean condition of states is their control by the middle class. (Etym. Latin medianus, from medius, middle.)