The word ‘Medium’ is said to have originated from the Latin word medius, which means middle. It was first noted in English between 1575–85.
As an adjective, the term medium denotes a position that represents halfway between two extremes. These extremes can be of degree, amount, quality, place, or size, and therefore, their medium is the midway on the scale. Some other words that denote similar meanings as the word medium as an adjective are intermediate or average.
A medium can signify several different meanings based on the context when referred to as a noun. It can mean an intermediate state or condition, an artistic work’s technique or material, or a channel of information, communication, or entertainment in a society, for instance — radios, televisions and newspapers, and other forms of popular media.
In the supernatural context, closer to the word psychic, the word medium can also refer to a person known to act as the contact through whom the spirits of the dead reach out to living beings. Some other words that denote the same meaning as the word medium (in this sense of being able to contact the dead) are clairvoyant, mind-reader, spiritualist, and fortune teller.
In this particular context, the term “Medium” can easily be confused with the word “Psychic.” Even though these terms are close in meaning, they cannot be used interchangeably. While both exist in the realm of supernatural attributes of a person, a psychic refers to individuals who are capable of realizing parapsychological forces or influences around them. On the other hand, a medium can only act as an intermediary between the dead and the living. As per this definition of the word, a medium specifically refers to a person who can communicate with the spirits of the deceased.