plural fifths ˈfiths How to pronounce fifth (audio)
: one that is number five in a series
Payment is due on the fifth of the month.
see Table of Numbers
: one of five equal parts of something
spent a fifth of their income on rent
: the musical interval embracing five diatonic degrees
: a tone at this interval
specifically : dominant sense 1
: the harmonic combination of two tones at this interval
: a unit of measure for liquor equal to one fifth of a U.S. gallon (0.757 liter)
the Fifth : the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
also : the right accorded by the Fifth Amendment to refuse to testify against oneself see also plead the Fifth, take the Fifth
fifth adjective or adverb
the fifth annual food festival
She finished fifth in the race.
fifthly adverb
Fourthly, it takes a lot of concrete to make a nuclear power plant. Fifthly, there is no place to put the waste that is safe. Victor Odlivak

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
Recent Examples on the Web Recognizing the evidence that people over age 65, now a fifth of the American population, are not a burden on society or a drain on scarce resources. Clara Germani, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Nov. 2023 His five-year-old repair business in Dnipro, in eastern Ukraine, fixes about 100 Teslas a month, roughly a fifth of them from overseas, and employs a staff that varies between six to 10 people. WIRED, 17 Nov. 2023 Moreover, just a fifth of global carbon emissions are currently covered under national climate plans that have a goal of net zero by 2050 consistent with the 7% annual emissions drop. Bypeter Vanham, Fortune, 9 Nov. 2023 The Regional Task Force on Homeless asked people about substance abuse during its most recent census, and of the respondents, more than a tenth of those in shelters and around a fifth of people on the street reported having a disorder. Blake Nelson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Nov. 2023 About a fifth of the pumpkins that are grown are used for food production, leaving a majority of them for Halloween festivities in October, the U.S. Department of Energy said. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 Federal experts estimate more than a fifth of private wells have concentrations of contaminants above levels considered safe. Tony Leys, Fortune, 26 Oct. 2023 The pair left Arrowhead Stadium hand-in-hand after the win on October 22, which marked Kelce’s fifth in a row this season. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 23 Oct. 2023 Houston is one win away from making its third consecutive World Series and its fifth in the last seven years. Ryan Morik, Fox News, 21 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fifth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of fifth was in 1557

Cite this Entry

“Fifth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: one that is number five in a series see number
: the difference in pitch between the first tone and the fifth tone of a scale
fifth adjective or adverb
fifthly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on fifth

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