\ˈfith, ˈfif(t)th, ˈfift \
plural fifths\ˈfiths, ˈfif(t)ths, ˈfif(t)s \

Definition of fifth 

1 : one that is number five in a series — see Table of Numbers

2a : the musical interval embracing five diatonic degrees

b : a tone at this interval specifically : dominant sense 1

c : the harmonic combination of two tones at this interval

3 : a unit of measure for liquor equal to one fifth of a U.S. gallon (0.757 liter)

4 capitalized : the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution also : the right accorded by the Fifth Amendment to refuse to testify against oneself usually used in the phrase take the Fifth

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Other Words from fifth

fifth adjective or adverb
fifthly adverb

Examples of fifth in a Sentence

The bill is due on the fifth of each month. She donated a fifth of her income to charity. bought a fifth of whiskey
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Recent Examples on the Web

As a result, Shorewood High School student Brady Tutton went, in the span of a year, from attending Summerfest as a fan to opening for Jack & Jack at the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage as one-fifth of In Real Life. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 4: In Real Life, Kaleo, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang and more," 30 June 2018 The county board voted 2 to 1 to raise the sales tax one-fifth of a cent to help pay for the county's operating budget. Scott Wartman,, "Hamilton County commissioners just voted to increase sales tax - without asking voters in November," 18 June 2018 Spending on park land per capita is currently one third of what the city of Atlanta spends, one fifth of Minneapolis. Ed Barnhart - Special To The Observer Editorial Board, charlotteobserver, "Embarrassing: Charlotte is at the bottom of another study," 4 June 2018 The share of incubator programs associated with universities has grown to a record high of 42 percent, according to the International Business Innovation Association's 2016 IMPACT Index, up from around one-third in 2012 and one-fifth in 2006. Andrea Januta, The Christian Science Monitor, "US universities invest in student entrepreneurship," 10 May 2018 In the men’s standings, Spring placed third with 97 points, Westfield fifth with 66 and Delaney seventh with 37. Houston Chronicle, "Spring girls win team 16-6A track and field title, boys earn third," 11 Apr. 2018 And research on bears living on the Arctic islands of Svalbard shows that the animals are now reproducing at a rate one-fifth of that seen just 20 years ago. NBC News, "Scientists hatch bold plan to save polar bears," 26 Feb. 2018 Almost a fifth of households with new mortgages owe more than six times net income. The Economist, "Giddy property prices are a test for Swedish policymakers," 21 June 2018 Consider that Trump and the National Enquirer collectively paid less than one-fifth of that amount to keep both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal quiet about affairs with a major-party presidential candidate. Paul Campos, Daily Intelligencer, "Theory: Playboy Model Who Got $1.6 Million Had Affair With Trump, Not Broidy," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fifth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fifth

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fifth

Middle English fifte, fifthe, from Old English fīfta, from fīf five

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Phrases Related to fifth

take/plead the Fifth

Statistics for fifth

Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fifth

The first known use of fifth was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fifth



English Language Learners Definition of fifth

: number five in a series

: one of five equal parts of something

: a unit of measure for alcoholic liquor that is equal to one fifth of a U.S. gallon (approximately 750 ml); also : a bottle that holds this amount of liquor


\ˈfifth \

Kids Definition of fifth

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: coming right after fourth



Kids Definition of fifth (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : number five in a series The school year began on the fifth of September.

2 : one of five equal parts I got a fifth of the money.

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Comments on fifth

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