: a number that is one more than three see Table of Numbers
: the fourth in a set or series
the four of hearts
: something having four units or members: such as
: a 4-oared racing shell or its crew
: a 4-cylinder engine or automobile
four adjective
four pronoun, plural in construction

Examples of four in a Sentence

“What time is it?” “It's four.” I leave each day at four.
Recent Examples on the Web At the Senate’s usual plodding pace, passing a single spending bill takes a week, at best — let alone the four that must pass by next Friday to prevent a partial shutdown. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2024 The Cavs, based on their net rating, maybe should be closer to the East’s top-four instead of step back. Chris Manning, Forbes, 22 Mar. 2023 Its balanced chassis is complemented by a punchy turbo-four that hits above its weight class, offering power delivery that feels more like a beefy V-6. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 2 Mar. 2023 The big four who top the list are symbols of the change: 1. Alan Murray, Fortune, 4 Oct. 2022 Most cotton mask companies sell their masks in India in packs of threes and fours. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, 26 May 2020 Angry homebuilders mailed chunks of two-by-fours to the Fed’s marble headquarters in Washington. New York Times, 9 Dec. 2019 Then the material should be weighted down, whether with earth staples (which resemble giant hairpins), rocks or lumber, like two-by-fours. Margaret Roach, New York Times, 24 Apr. 2020 Hold for a few seconds and place back down to all-fours position. Mallory Creveling,, 15 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'four.' 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, from four adjective, from Old English fēower; akin to Old High German fior four, Latin quattuor, Greek tessares, tettares

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of four was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near four

Cite this Entry

“Four.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ˈfō(ə)r How to pronounce four (audio)
: a number that is one more than three see number
: the fourth in a set or series
: something having four units or members
four adjective or pronoun

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