nine·​ty ˈnīn-tē How to pronounce ninety (audio)
plural nineties
: a number equal to nine times 10 see Table of Numbers
nineties plural : the numbers 90 to 99
specifically : the years 90 to 99 in a lifetime or century
She's in her nineties.
ninetieth adjective or noun
ninety adjective
ninety pronoun, plural in construction

Examples of ninety in a Sentence

During the nineties, he was going to college and working part-time.
Recent Examples on the Web Often, students select majors in response to job market trends—for example, the number of computer science majors shot up in the late nineties, before the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, and has again steadily risen since 2009. Emma Whitford, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 Looks included modern couture and vintage pieces, with references to the Roaring ‘20s, nineties, and early aughts. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 5 Feb. 2024 There is a superficial similarity between Tool’s career and that of another nineties band that spiralled out into its own world. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, 17 Jan. 2024 Get The Recipe 11 of 15 Tex-Mex Deviled Eggs The South's iconic appetizer fuses with the nineties' obsession with Tex-Mex. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 3 Jan. 2024 The film tells the story of a famous Texas pro-wrestling clan called the Von Erichs, following them throughout the eighties and early nineties as they are beset by a sequence of tragedies. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 22 Dec. 2023 The eighties and nineties were quite cynical in many ways. Nathan Taylor Pemberton, The New Yorker, 10 Dec. 2023 The late Tony Bennett sang extremely well on stage into his nineties, even after his Alzheimer’s disease made his everyday life a major challenge and robbed him of his memory for everything but song lyrics. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Dec. 2023 In the late nineties, when Cavallo’s dollar peg was still in place, a surge in the value of the dollar (and, therefore, the peso) contributed to Argentina’s exports becoming uncompetitive in world markets. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ninety.' 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 ninety, adjective, from Old English nigontig, short for hundnigontig, from hundnigontig, noun, group of 90, from hund-, literally, hundred + nigon nine + -tig group of 10; akin to Old English tīen ten

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near ninety

Cite this Entry

“Ninety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


nine·​ty ˈnīnt-ē How to pronounce ninety (audio)
plural nineties
: a number equal to nine times 10 see number
plural : the numbers 90 to 99 and specifically the years 90 to 99 in a lifetime or century
ninetieth adjective or noun
ninety adjective or pronoun

More from Merriam-Webster on ninety

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