six·​teen | \ ˌsik-ˈstēn How to pronounce sixteen (audio) , ˈsiks-ˌtēn \

Definition of sixteen

: a number that is one more than 15 — see Table of Numbers

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Other Words from sixteen

sixteen adjective
sixteen pronoun, plural in construction
sixteenth \ ˌsik-​ˈstēn(t)th How to pronounce sixteen (audio) , ˈsiks-​ˌtēn(t)th \ adjective or noun

Examples of sixteen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the first season, half-human, half-witch Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka, Mad Men) turns sweet sixteen (on Halloween, of course). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 Jan. 2020 By next year, given current policies and potential future energy-market dynamics, the U.S. will have reduced national greenhouse-gas emissions thirteen-to-sixteen per cent below 2005 levels—not the seventeen per cent that seemed modest back in 2009. Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, 11 July 2019 Beneath the game that gives the novel its plot, Raskin built a narrative substructure that consists of the intersecting identity crises experienced by the sixteen—sixteen! Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, 13 June 2019 The pilot episode opens just before half-human, half-witch Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka, Mad Men) turns sweet sixteen (on Halloween, of course). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 18 Dec. 2018 Bocas, founded in Doral in 2014, had to overcome particularly tough matchups, first in the sweet sixteen against the quickly expanding Ceviche 105 and then against longtime Miami favorite Big Cheese to represent the Local Faves region. Carlos Frías, miamiherald, 3 Apr. 2018 Days after Gerber’s sweet sixteen on September 3, the soon-to-be jetsetting model made a trip to the DMV to get her driver’s license. Colleen Kratofil,, 9 Oct. 2017 Rob Gronkowski only played eight games, but Kelce—who played all sixteen—averaged more yards per game than New England’s lovable oaf. Clay Skipper, GQ, 7 Sep. 2017 Not for christenings, bar mitzvahs, quinceaneras, sweet sixteens, graduations, engagements, coming out, announcing gender, changing gender, getting a job, losing a job, buying a house, divorcing, retiring or dying. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, 17 Mar. 2017

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sixteen

Middle English sixtene, from Old English sixtȳne, adjective, from six six + -tȳne (akin to Old English tīen ten) — more at ten

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Time Traveler for sixteen

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sixteen



sixteen-foot octave

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Statistics for sixteen

Cite this Entry

“Sixteen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for sixteen



English Language Learners Definition of sixteen

: the number 16


six·​teen | \ sik-ˈstēn How to pronounce sixteen (audio) \

Kids Definition of sixteen

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: being one more than 15



Kids Definition of sixteen (Entry 2 of 2)

: one more than 15 : four times four : 16

More from Merriam-Webster on sixteen

Nglish: Translation of sixteen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sixteen for Arabic Speakers


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