\ 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 Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager honored his younger brother, Corey Seager, in his message. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Opinion: It’s a Hollywood story for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they receive their World Series rings," 10 Apr. 2021 But in the bottom of the inning, Gilliam hit a hopper to Yankees third baseman Clete Boyer who threw to first. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "Greatest moments in Dodger history No. 7: Winning the 1963 World Series," 9 Apr. 2021 Rangers third baseman Charlie Culberson had his first two hits of the season. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "Nick Solak’s first HR of 2021 helps power Rangers to series win over Toronto," 7 Apr. 2021 The Twins third baseman, injured in the first inning on Opening Day, has also begun regularly running on a treadmill to keep the hamstring stretched out. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, "Part of Twins' home opener plans include getting COVID vaccinations," 6 Apr. 2021 Keston Hiura, still looking for his first hit of the season, hit a sharp grounder right at third baseman Matt Duffy, who started a 5-4-3 double play that got Williams out of the jam and kept it at 4-0. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cubs 5, Brewers 3: Offensive woes continue in third consecutive defeat for strikeout-prone Brewers," 5 Apr. 2021 In the sixth inning Sunday, Houston catcher Jason Castro hit a potential inning-ending double-play grounder to Platinum Glove third baseman Matt Chapman, playing near second base in a shift. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, "A's swept by Astros in dominant fashion," 4 Apr. 2021 He's followed by St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado, at $35 million. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "MLB's highest paid players in 2021 season: Mike Trout, Gerrit Cole, Nolan Arenado top list," 2 Apr. 2021 In their place, the Orioles signed free-agent shortstop Freddy Galvis to replace Iglesias, third baseman Maikel Franco to replace Núñez as a right-handed hitting corner bat and gave Yolmer Sánchez every chance to take Alberto’s second base job. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles guide to Opening Day: Everything you need to know before first pitch in Boston," 1 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After all, studies have suggested that up to a third of child carriers of coronavirus may be asymptomatic while still being able to transmit the pathogen to other people. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Where we stand on COVID vaccines and kids," 26 Mar. 2021 That would be more than double current levels, but not quite the peaks seen in Europe, when up to a third of the workforce was in manufacturing. The Economist, "Manufacturing hope African industry is doing better than previously thought," 18 Mar. 2021 As a result, the six conferences in the western third of the country claimed a mere six at-large bids: BYU, Utah State and the four Pac-12 teams. oregonlive, "Selection Sunday winners and losers: NCAA Tournament bracket breakdown," 15 Mar. 2021 This could mean an increase by up to a third of patient revenue per day, which amounts to a significant financial stream for provider organizations. Sindhu Kutty, Forbes, "The Rise Of AI Voice Assistants In Clinical Documentation," 3 Mar. 2021 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

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

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Third.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 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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