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 Democrats gained forty seats in the House of Representatives, the largest net gain for the party in a single election since 1947. David Cole, The New York Review of Books, "The Path of Greatest Resistance," 7 Feb. 2019 Under a bright morning sun, with Frenchman Mountain soaring in the background, some forty mostly Latino soccer aficionados gathered on one of the school’s fields. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "What Bernie Sanders Is Doing Differently to Win Over Latino Voters," 21 Feb. 2020 She is played as a child by Ryan Kiera Armstrong, as a young teenager by Lulu Wilson, in her twenties and thirties by Alicia Vikander and from her forties to the present by Julianne Moore. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Glorias': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 27 Jan. 2020 Belichick prizes the flexibility of going year to year with a franchise quarterback in his forties who is in uncharted territory in terms of longevity. Globe Staff,, "Tom Brady’s preference has to be staying with Patriots," 10 Jan. 2020 These days, some excellent rosé wines come in cans, forties, and even boxes. Kristin Tice Studeman, Vogue, "The New, Weird, Wonderful Rosés You Should Be Drinking This Summer," 8 June 2019 Steve is a white evangelical in his forties, a middle-school teacher, the father of two daughters, and a deacon at his Southern Baptist church. Andrew T. Walker, National Review, "Understanding Why Religious Conservatives Would Vote for Trump," 10 Feb. 2020 One man in his forties was initially considered to be in a life-threatening condition but is no longer considered to be, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D'Orsi said on Sunday. NBC News, "Britain's Boris Johnson vows to end early release of terrorism offenders," 3 Feb. 2020 The man is described as being white with a reddish beard and in his forties wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans. Ken Brown,, "Man at-large after Cincinnati Police Department chases him into Northern Kentucky," 28 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for forty

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for forty

Last Updated

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Forty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for forty


How to pronounce forty (audio)

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

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