DEFINITION of 'Middleman'

A slang term for an intermediary in a transaction or process chain. A middleman will facilitate interaction between parties, typically for a commission or fee. Some critics say that businesses and customers should try to "cut out the middleman" by dealing directly with each other, avoiding any increased costs or commissions.


In the supply chain, a middleman may represent a distributor who purchases goods from the manufacturer and sells them to a retailer, often at an increased price. Sales people are often considered middlemen, such as real estate agents who match homebuyers with sellers.

  1. Disintermediary

    Anything that removes the "middleman" (intermediary) in a supply ...
  2. End To End

    A term used in many business arenas referring to the beginning ...
  3. Real Estate Agent

    A person with a state/provincial license to represent a buyer ...
  4. Supply Chain

    The network created amongst different companies producing, handling ...
  5. Financial Intermediary

    An entity that acts as the middleman between two parties in a ...
  6. Disintermediation

    1. In finance, withdrawal of funds from intermediary financial ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Principal Trading and Agency Trading

    Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes when you buy or sell a stock? Read on and find out!
  2. Options & Futures

    Market Speculators: More Help Than Harm

    Speculators often get a bad rap, but it's important to remember that they only observe trends, not manipulate them.
  3. Personal Finance

    3 Alternative Ways To Assess Your Investment Manager

    Find out whether your funds are being managed according to your goals.
  4. Taxes

    Avoid Capital Gains Tax On Your Home Sale

    If you have property to sell and want to avoid capital gains tax, a Section 1031 exchange may be the answer.
  5. Investing

    What’s the Difference Between Duration & Maturity?

    We look at the meaning of two terms that often get confused, duration and maturity, to set the record straight.
  6. Investing Basics

    Should You Get A Six Sigma Black Belt? Average Salary: 98K

    Interested in the Six Sigma Black Belt but unsure whether you need one? Here's a guide to it and how it differs from other belts.
  7. Investing Basics

    What is Equity?

    Think of equity as ownership in any asset after all debts stemming from that asset are paid.
  8. Economics

    What's a Horizontal Merger?

    A horizontal merger occurs when companies within the same industry merge.
  9. Economics

    Explaining Quality Control

    Businesses use quality control to ensure their products and services meet a certain standard, as well as any industry regulations.
  10. Professionals

    Consider A Career As A Financial Communications Professional

    Regulators, sales people and clients all look to communications professionals to help them navigate the markets.
  1. When does it makes sense for a company to pursue vertical integration?

    Vertical integration makes sense as a strategy, as it allows a company to reduce costs across various parts of production, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do working capital funds expire?

    While working capital funds do not expire, the working capital figure does change over time. This is because it is calculated ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Does working capital include inventory?

    A company's working capital includes inventory, and increases in inventory make working capital increase. Working capital ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How can I calculate funds from operation in Excel?

    In general, the terms "work in progress" and "work in process" are used interchangeably to refer to products midway through ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. When does Q4 start and finish?

    Most companies such as Facebook have financial years that end on December 31st. For these companies, the fourth quarter begins ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why is social responsibility important to a business?

    Social responsibility is important to a business because it demonstrates to both consumers and the media that the company ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Flier

    The slang term for a decision to invest in highly speculative investments.
  2. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  3. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  4. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  5. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  6. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
Trading Center