1. Also called Mid'dle Em'pire. the period in the history of ancient Egypt, c2000–1785 b.c.,comprising the 11th to 14th dynasties. Cf. New Kingdom, Old Kingdom.
a. the 18 inner provinces of China, taken collectively.
b. (loosely) China.
3. the Chinese Empire: originally so called from its supposed location in the center of the earth.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.