ordinal

noun
or·​di·​nal | \ ˈȯrd-nəl How to pronounce ordinal (audio) , ˈȯr-də-nəl \

Definition of ordinal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 capitalized [Middle English, from Medieval Latin ordinale, from Late Latin, neuter of ordinalis] : a book of rites for the ordination of deacons, priests, and bishops
2 [Late Latin ordinalis, from ordinalis, adjective] : ordinal number

ordinal

adjective

Definition of ordinal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of a specified order or rank in a series
2 : of or relating to a taxonomic order

Examples of ordinal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If there were several sisters, ordinals could be used, Claudia Tertia, Claudia Quarta, etc. National Geographic, "In ancient Rome, citizenship was the path to power," 4 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The sections are constructed of scraps and vignettes, fragmentary pieces of memory that hop around the time line, following their own ordinal logic. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "“Burn the Place” Is a Thrilling, Disquieting Memoir of Addiction and Coming of Age," 15 Oct. 2019 The second is ordinal-linguistic personification, or OLP, in which different parts of a sequence — days of the week, but also things like letters of the alphabet and months of the year — are each imbued with their own unique personalities. Cari Romm, The Cut, "I Can’t Stop Reading This Twitter Thread on People Who Literally See Time," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ordinal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ordinal

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ordinal

Adjective

Late Latin ordinalis, from Latin ordin-, ordo

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ordinal

Time Traveler for ordinal

Time Traveler

The first known use of ordinal was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for ordinal

Cite this Entry

“Ordinal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ordinal. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ordinal

ordinal

noun
or·​di·​nal | \ ˈȯr-də-nəl How to pronounce ordinal (audio) \

Kids Definition of ordinal

More from Merriam-Webster on ordinal

Spanish Central: Translation of ordinal

Comments on ordinal

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!