\ 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

Adjective 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 Noun 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 The Chargers lost containment in their rush lanes as the game continued, allowing Mahomes to convert four third-down plays on scrambles. Emmanuel Morgan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Secret to stopping Patrick Mahomes? Bucs might want to copy Chargers’ strategy," 6 Feb. 2021 Notre Dame converted 10 of its 19 third-down attempts (52.6%) in the victory over Clemson. Tyler James, USA TODAY, "How Notre Dame's offense can find success against Clemson again," 18 Dec. 2020 Over the past two years, the Orioles have relied heavily on Rio Ruiz as their everyday third baseman. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles sign third baseman Maikel Franco to big league deal; Hunter Harvey placed on 60-day injured list," 16 Mar. 2021 The five-time All-Star third baseman was traded from Colorado to the St. Louis Cardinals for five players. Rob Maaddi, Star Tribune, "Springer, Bauer, Lindor lead list of big names on new teams," 9 Mar. 2021 Yale third baseman Mason LaPlante wanted to impress pro scouts enough to be selected in the 2021 MLB draft. Dallas News, "With Ivy League baseball canceled for second straight season, the league’s Dallas athletes return to Texas to reevaluate," 8 Mar. 2021 Manager Terry Francona told reporters Sunday star third baseman Jose Ramirez and slugging DH Franmil Reyes are isolated from the team and out indefinitely after Reyes received a haircut Friday. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Cleveland's Jose Ramirez, Franmil Reyes violate MLB's COVID-19 protocols," 7 Mar. 2021 The Chicago White Sox first baseman hit a grounder to third baseman Donovan Walton, who fired home for the first out. Lamond Pope,, "3 takeaways from Chicago White Sox spring training Friday, including the unique way the team celebrated the 24th birthday of Nick Madrigal — aka ‘Mr. 3,000′," 6 Mar. 2021 Especially when Bauer faces Padres third baseman Manny Machado, who has 10 hits, including four homers, in 17 career at-bats against Bauer. Mike Digiovanna Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer, in one-eyed-jack mode, throws three scoreless innings," 6 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hitting the near 7,000 rpm redline is a hoot, but in reality, all the heavy lifting is done at a third of those revs, and the fun factor kicks in the minute one hits the gas. Robert Ross, Robb Report, "Car of the Week: BMW’s Most Beloved Car of the 21st Century Was a One-Hit Wonder," 22 Mar. 2021 Projections call for the storm to bring perhaps a tenth of an inch to the San Francisco and Oakland areas, hundredths of an inch to the South Bay and a third to a half of an inch in the coastal ranges. Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Area forecast: Enjoy the blue skies now. Cloudy conditions and rain could creep back this weekend," 12 Mar. 2021 As per a July 2020 report from McKinsey, in the U.S., women control a third of household financial assets, amounting to $10 trillion. Seema Chaturvedi, Forbes, "Why We Need More Women Investing In Women," 9 Mar. 2021 China accounts for nearly a third of world-wide increases in stock-market capitalization in 2020, the S&P data shows. Quentin Webb, WSJ, "Chinese Stocks Have Banner Year, Gaining Nearly $5 Trillion," 25 Dec. 2020 El Paso is three hours away from the Permian Basin, which accounts for nearly a third of all oil production in the U.S. and over 16% of its natural gas production. Grace Baek, CBS News, "Inside Gen Z's fight for climate change action," 22 Oct. 2020 The western third of the country is guaranteed to place six teams in the NCAA field: The tournament champions from the Pac-12, Mountain West, West Coast, Big Sky, Big West and WAC receive automatic bids. oregonlive, "Selection Sunday preview: Pac-12 bid and seed scenarios, the likely No. 1s, replacement plans and West Coast representation," 13 Mar. 2021 According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook suggests warmer than average temperatures across the Eastern third of the nation with colder than average temps lingering across the Western US. Todd Nelson, Star Tribune, "Light Sunday Snow, Then First 40s Since December," 20 Feb. 2021 The blast of frigid air is likely to advance deep into the south-central states and across the entire eastern third of the nation by early next week. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "An arctic blast is coming. And we can blame the infamous polar vortex.," 3 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for third

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for third

Last Updated

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Third.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of third for Spanish Speakers

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

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