\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

Typically, constitutional amendments require a three-fifths vote in the statehouse — and Republicans have enough votes in the statehouse to block that. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "New Jersey Democrats have a new gerrymandering plan. It is indefensible — and national Democrats need to stop it.," 14 Dec. 2018 Signs of the condition first appear four to six weeks into a pregnancy and peak between nine and 13 weeks, but about one-fifth of unlucky women have to continue treatment for the entire nine months. Megan Friedman, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton's Hyperemesis Gravidarum Isn't Just Morning Sickness," 8 Sep. 2014 And Representative Carolyn Maloney drew less than three-fifths of the vote against another first-time candidate, Suraj Patel. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "4 Takeaways From Tuesday’s Primary Elections," 27 June 2018 Three-fifths of governors and one-third of all state senators elected during the 2018 midterms will still be in office during the next redistricting cycle, the state government policy research group found. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "The Midterms Could Have a Big Impact on Redistricting," 24 May 2018 Turkey imports about half its oil and a fifth of its gas needs from Iran. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "Turkey’s Erdogan Says He’ll Defy U.S. Sanctions on Iran," 6 Nov. 2018 Robert’s groundbreaking research recently revealed that as much as a fifth of us are recessive carriers of some exotic genetic horror or other. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: The toxic truths within our DNA," 18 July 2018 Islam is the dominant faith of Israel’s Arab minority, which makes up around a fifth of its population, and of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Washington Post, "Tiny ancient Quran on display in Israel for Ramadan," 11 June 2018 The top 50 stocks account for two-fifths of the total. The Economist, "Most stockmarket returns come from a tiny fraction of shares," 23 June 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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Statistics for fifth

Last Updated

19 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for fifth

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on fifth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fifth

Spanish Central: Translation of fifth

Nglish: Translation of fifth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fifth for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fifth

Comments on fifth

What made you want to look up fifth? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

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