\ ˈfith How to pronounce fifth (audio) , ˈfif(t)th, ˈfift How to pronounce fifth (audio) \
plural fifths\ ˈfiths How to pronounce fifths (audio) , 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 The Fed is buying junk bonds; the Bank of Japan has stepped up its purchases of equities and could soon own over a fifth of many large Japanese companies (see article). The Economist, "Tomorrow’s problem Don’t worry about inflation—yet," 4 June 2020 Here are the rules: Occupancy limited to 20% or less: For businesses with 20 or more employees, up to a fifth of workers can occupy the space, with 6-foot separation at all times. Roland Li,, "SF allowing some offices to reopen Monday: Here are the rules," 12 June 2020 That is especially true of consumer borrowers, up to a fifth of whom have asked for payment holidays. The Economist, "Pandemic pendulum Why are bank bosses sounding more optimistic about loan losses?," 11 June 2020 Two-fifths of CP’s $68bn in annual revenues come via hundreds of Chinese subsidiaries running animal-feed factories, supermarkets and much else besides. The Economist, "Chinese diaspora Inc South-East Asian tycoons’ high-wire act," 30 May 2020 Crisis economics gets complicated when the budget deficit could be equivalent to two-fifths of a nation’s entire output. Fiona Macdonald,, "Fiscal Nightmare Ties Up Kuwait’s Stimulus With 40% Deficit," 24 May 2020 Larry Bell, founder of Bell's Brewery in Michigan, said that two-fifths of its business was from restaurants and bars. Nigel Chiwaya, NBC News, "Americans buying more alcohol during the coronavirus pandemic, but craft brewers are struggling," 22 Apr. 2020 Mexico relies on Petroleos Mexicanos -- the state oil company -- for almost a fifth of revenue. Justin Villamil,, "Mexican Peso Free Fall Shows Oil Isn’t the Only Problem," 18 May 2020 Driving the downturn are losses in remittances, a decline in tourism, and — significantly for a country whose economy relies on exports for nearly a fifth of its gross domestic product — a major contraction of the export market. Los Angeles Times, "U.S. factories in Mexico are still open. As the coronavirus spreads, workers are dying," 18 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for fifth

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fifth

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fifth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for fifth


How to pronounce fifth (audio) How to pronounce fifth (audio)

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 How to pronounce fifth (audio) \

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

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