\ ˈthərd How to pronounce third (audio) \

Definition of third

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : being next after the second in place or time the third taxi in line
b : ranking next after the second of a grade or degree in authority or precedence served as third mate
c : being the forward speed or gear next higher than second especially in a motor vehicle
2a : being one of three equal parts into which something is divisible a third share of the money
b : being the last in each group of three in a series take out every third card



Definition of third (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : one that is number three in a series — see Table of Numbers
b : one that is next after second in rank, position, authority, or precedence the third in line
2 : one of three equal parts of something a third of the pie
4 : the third forward gear or speed especially of a motor vehicle
5a : the musical interval embracing three diatonic degrees
b : a tone at this interval specifically : mediant
c : the harmonic combination of two tones a third apart
6 thirds plural : merchandise whose quality falls below the manufacturer's standard for seconds

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Other Words from third


third or thirdly adverb

Examples of third in a Sentence


We sat in the third row. the third house on the left C is the third letter in the alphabet. That's the third time I've seen him today. The office is on the third floor. Do you have a third choice? a third share in the profits a third pound of cheese


The win was his third of the year. a third of the pie Rent costs two-thirds of my paycheck. She divided the cookie into thirds.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Nine of 10 third-graders in the city schools do not read at grade level. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "Miracle on Mackinac Island: Business community gets woke to race," 3 June 2018 Four third-graders at Cromwell Valley — Anna, Ellie, Vikram and A’Ryan — wrote a short essay about Thomas as part of the nomination. Libby Solomon,, "Cathy Thomas of Cromwell Valley Elementary named a county Principal of the Year," 3 May 2018 When Jack Anderson singled to center to move Gretler to third with one out, Casey called time and considered his options. Ron Richmond For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Troy Claunch is clutch as Oregon State baseball edges Arizona State," 30 Apr. 2018 The constitutional court validated Nkurunziza’s third term in 2015, which the opposition and many international observers saw as unconstitutional. Washington Post, "UN envoy urges dialogue with opposition after Burundi vote," 26 May 2018 Hyman scored at 6:34 of the third, snapping the Blues’ shutout streak at 233:50. Joe Harris, The Seattle Times, "O’Reilly’s overtime goal lifts Blues past Maple Leafs 3-2," 19 Feb. 2019 Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images Analysts also point out that, even with earnings growth expected to decelerate in the fourth quarter from the third, companies look poised to post healthy profits anyway. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Slowing Earnings Growth, Gloomy Forecasts Add to Stock Market’s Woes," 13 Jan. 2019 Later, after Goff was drafted again by the Mariners in the 1986 third round out of the University of California in Berkeley, Hughes was scouting director of the Expos. Janie Mccauley, The Seattle Times, "2 baseball scouts have intriguing ties to Super Bowl QBs," 29 Jan. 2019 The Progressions third-graders had never touched these instruments before the beginning of this school year. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "First Stage actors, MYSO musicians learn from pros at Milwaukee Youth Arts Center," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For the On-Site Habitat Competition, teams had to autonomously print a one-third-scale habitat. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Crowns Winner in Mars Habitat Competition," 10 May 2019 Meanwhile, set 4 spears asparagus aside and peel lower thirds of remaining spears. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Asparagus, Burrata, and Prosciutto Tartines," 30 Apr. 2019 The visit Friday will be Pompeo’s third to Pyongyang, the capital, in three months, but the first since President Trump held a high-profile summit with Kim in Singapore last month. David S. Cloud,, "Pompeo heads to North Korea to press Kim on nuclear disarmament," 6 July 2018 Representing nearly one third of the world’s population, 60% of whom are under the age of 30, the Commonwealth also serves as a champion for youth empowerment, which is a key focus of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Celebrate the Commonwealth's 70th Anniversary," 26 Apr. 2019 Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of oven and heat to 425 degrees. Melissa Clark, The Seattle Times, "How to make sheet-pan suppers without the meat," 1 Oct. 2018 Position oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Ashleigh Spitza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The joys - and time-saving benefits - of a minimalist's approach to entertaining," 12 May 2018 In 1998 the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that in the U.S., two thirds of violent attacks on intimate partners occurred in the context of alcohol abuse. Kunmi Sobowale, Scientific American, "Raising Alcohol Taxes Can Curtail Assaults and Suicides," 1 July 2017 Smith missed her first five 3-point tries before connecting from the baseline with 2:22 left in the third and finished with three 3s. Janie Mccauley, The Seattle Times, "Smith heats up in second half, Stanford back to Sweet 16," 25 Mar. 2019

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


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for third


Middle English thridde, thirde, from Old English thridda, thirdda; akin to Latin tertius third, Greek tritos, treis three — more at three

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Learn More about third

Dictionary Entries near third





third angle

third base


Statistics for third

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for third

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

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More Definitions for third



English Language Learners Definition of third

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: occupying the number three position in a series
: next to the second in importance or rank
: equal in size, value, amount, etc., to one third of something



English Language Learners Definition of third (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is third : the third thing in a series
: one of three equal parts of something
: the third forward gear or speed of a vehicle


\ ˈthərd How to pronounce third (audio) \

Kids Definition of third

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: coming right after second



Kids Definition of third (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : number three in a series
2 : one of three equal parts

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More from Merriam-Webster on third

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with third

Spanish Central: Translation of third

Nglish: Translation of third for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of third for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about third

Comments on third

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


highly pertinent or appropriate

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