for·​ty | \ ˈfȯr-tē How to pronounce forty (audio) \
plural forties

Definition of forty

1 : a number equal to four times 10 — see Table of Numbers
2 forties plural : the numbers 40 to 49 specifically : the years 40 to 49 in a lifetime or century
3 : the third point scored by a side in a game of tennis

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Other Words from forty

fortieth \ ˈfȯr-​tē-​əth How to pronounce fortieth (audio) \ adjective or noun
forty adjective
forty pronoun, plural in construction
fortyish \ ˈfȯr-​tē-​ish How to pronounce fortyish (audio) \ adjective

Examples of forty in a Sentence

The temperature outside is in the high forties. She is in her forties.

Recent Examples on the Web

Janssen, who began taking testosterone in his forties and helped inspire Jackson Hearns’ trans offerings, said that the importance of voice is both literal and philosophical, embedded in protest. Nicole Blackwood,, "Trans Chicagoans learn to construct sound from square one, for safety and artistic pursuits," 12 Aug. 2019 Forget about peaks—lovemaking can be exciting in your twenties, thirties, forties and beyond. Sharon Boone, Essence, "Do Tell! Five Sexy Confessions From Women In Their 20s, 30s and 40s," 30 July 2019 The day after Apostrof ended, Tokarczuk was having lunch at an Indian restaurant in Warsaw with her partner of eleven years, Grzegorz Zygadło, an affable man in his late forties with worried eyes and a scruff of dark hair. Ruth Franklin, The New Yorker, "Olga Tokarczuk’s Novels Against Nationalism," 29 July 2019 At Kamalaya, a spa and yoga retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand, 55% of the guests are in their late forties. Catherine Feliciano-chon, Quartz, "Asia’s affluent boomers are making aging aspirational," 29 July 2019 Both are in their forties and both lie about their age. Kyle Smith, National Review, "An Anti–Me Too Play — from a Surprising Perspective, and from the 1980s," 7 June 2019 The Chicana women who wore an early version of the style in the forties—the makeup, the tight sweaters, the zoot suits, the pompadours—were referred to as pachucas. Carmen Maria Machado, Vogue, "A New Generation is Taking on L.A.’s Latinx Beauty Rituals," 13 Feb. 2019 That philosophy and my consciousness of the world was instilled early on by my grandmother, who hitchhiked across the globe and met my grandfather in India in the late forties—a crazy thing for a young white woman to do at the time. Leila Janah, Glamour, "This Sustainable Moisturizer Laughs In the Face of 12-Hour Days," 17 Oct. 2018 And if men in their forties no longer want to date me, well, that’s a good thing. Melanie Hamlett, Glamour, "Men My Age Wouldn’t Date Me, so I Became a ‘Cougar’," 5 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forty.' 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 forty

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

History and Etymology for forty

Middle English fourty, adjective, from Old English fēowertig, from fēowertig group of 40, from fēower four + -tig group of 10; akin to Old English tīen ten

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Statistics for forty

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forty

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

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More Definitions for forty



English Language Learners Definition of forty

: the number 40
: the numbers ranging from 40 to 49
: a set of years ending in digits ranging from 40 to 49


for·​ty | \ ˈfȯr-tē How to pronounce forty (audio) \

Kids Definition of forty

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: being four times ten



Kids Definition of forty (Entry 2 of 2)

: four times ten : 40

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More from Merriam-Webster on forty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forty

Spanish Central: Translation of forty

Nglish: Translation of forty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forty for Arabic Speakers

Comments on forty

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


concealment of treason or felony

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