\ 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 All-Star third baseman Justin Turner even offered to pay for Toles’ medical bills for treatment. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "'He really needs help': Family seeks help for Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles, who is homeless and hospitalized," 30 June 2020 Also quoted in the story by Walker were former Reds manager Dusty Baker, Dayton native and former Ohio University star Mike Schmidt and former Reds third baseman Terry Pendleton, Larkin's teammate in Cincinnati in 1997. Dave Clark, The Enquirer, "Barry Larkin, former MVPs want Kenesaw Mountain Landis' name removed from award," 30 June 2020 A year ago, MacArthur graduate and Texas Tech third baseman Josh Jung was selected No. 8 by the Texas Rangers. David Hinojosa,, "New Braunfels’ Jordan Westburg signs with Orioles," 29 June 2020 Na, 36, has four career PGA Tour wins to go with nine second-place finishes, eight third-place finishes and 70 top 10s. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Jason Day, former No. 1 golfer in world, commits to Rocket Mortgage Classic in July," 24 June 2020 A year ago, MacArthur graduate and Texas Tech third baseman Josh Jung was selected No. 8 by the Texas Rangers. David Hinojosa,, "New Braunfels native Jordan Westburg ‘high on life’ as getting drafted by Baltimore Orioles," 11 June 2020 After selecting Texas Tech third baseman Josh Jung with its first pick in 2019, Texas landed Mississippi State second baseman Justin Foscue with the No. 14 pick this year. Dallas News, "MLB draft central: Everything you need to know about the Texas Rangers’ 2020 class," 11 June 2020 Agent Scott Boras represents Torkelson, who’s in line to receive a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $8 million — the slot for the first pick is $8.4 million, the second $7.8 million and third $7.2 million. John Shea,, "Petaluma’s Spencer Torkelson drafted 1st overall by Tigers," 10 June 2020 Vukovich placed second at the 2019 High School Home Run Derby, held during MLB’s event at All-Star Weekend, and ranks the 6-foot-5 third baseman out of East Troy High as the No. 87 player in the draft class. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "How a historic MLB Draft change has affected would-be high school draft picks," 5 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Joe Biden’s campaign says a little more than a third of its senior staff are people of color, sharing staff diversity data after facing pressure to answer questions on the issue. USA TODAY, "Joe Biden campaign says 36% of senior staff are people of color," 28 June 2020 Roosevelt, during his first year of presidency, unsuccessfully campaigned for Admiralty, Chichagof, and Baranof Islands, which compose most of the northern third of the Tongass, to be turned into a brown bear preserve. Bjorn Dihle, Outdoor Life, "The Roadless Rule in the Tongass National Forest is Vital for Both Hunters and Brown Bears," 16 June 2020 Researchers at Oxford University have discovered what is believed to be the first evidence of a drug that can reduce the risk of death from COVID-19 by up to one-third, a steroid known as dexamethasone. Fox News, "'Life-saving' coronavirus drug discovered by Oxford researchers," 16 June 2020 Dexamethasone, a common steroid used to treat inflammation, was found to cut deaths by up to one-third in a study of more than 6,000 severely ill patients. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "Dexamethasone is touted to help COVID-19 survival rates. Here's what we know.," 16 June 2020 The one-third-acre estate contains four structures: a 1940s Midcentury home, a studio, a detached media lounge and a pool house. Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property newsletter: Matches made in escrow," 30 May 2020 The average age of current DACA recipients is 26, and about two thirds are between the ages of 21 and 30. Daniel Gonzalez, azcentral, "U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the fate of 650,000 'Dreamers.' Here's what could happen," 27 May 2020 Mr Condé’s ruling party’s share of seats in parliament duly rose to more than two-thirds. The Economist, "We don’t need no observation Covid-19 helps ballot-dodgers in Africa," 16 May 2020 Of the new-player jurors, two thirds (67 percent) voted for the Edge candidate, Chris, while 75 percent of the returning players voted the same way — including three-time players, Joe Anglim and Aubry Bracco. Dalton Ross,, "Survivor favorites preview the Winners at War finale," 12 May 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

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Third.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for third


How to pronounce third (audio)

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

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