\ 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

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 There is the potential that Google is experimenting to see if its cloud computing infrastructure could support such a service from a third-party company, or if Google could offer the backend to a game streaming platform built by someone else. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Google is giving away Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for free if you demo Project Stream," 18 Dec. 2018 Andreessen Horowitz led Coinbase’s third major round of financing five years ago and is now sitting on at least hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock in Coinbase. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "How an $8 billion Silicon Valley startup has shared talent with one of its most prominent investors," 26 Nov. 2018 After the Phillies’ 2017 third-round pick pitched one more scoreless frame to finish his start with six innings, the Yard Goats tagged the Fightin Phils’ bullpen for a run each in the seventh, eighth, and ninth to complete the comeback. Nick Tricome,, "Phillies minor league report: Mickey Moniak triples in Clearwater win," 3 July 2018 Lift pan off heat and pour in about a half- or third-cup batter. Debbi Snook,, "German Pancakes from Jenn Wirtz of Der Braumeister (recipe)," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Just as with presidents, a majority of the House must approve an indictment to impeach, and a two-thirds supermajority of the US Senate must convict for the judge or justice to lose their office. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "It works just like impeaching a president.," 27 Sep. 2018 The state House voted 85 to 58 on Monday to override his seventh veto of Medicaid expansion, but that was short of the two-thirds required. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP candidates caught in a bind on Medicaid," 13 July 2018 The vote commits Metropolitan to financing roughly a two-thirds share of the project even though Metropolitan's 19 million customers get only about one-quarter of the water that's pumped out of the Delta. Dale Kasler, sacbee, "Southern California water agency agrees to spend $11 billion on Delta tunnels - again," 10 July 2018 That number will now be closer to three thirds because of what Sweden have achieved this summer., "Warning Signs: How Sweden's Humble History Makers Survived and Thrived in the Post-Zlatan Era," 6 July 2018 In Phoenix, recall requires a two-thirds council vote. Jerod Macdonald-evoy, azcentral, "Tempe voters will get to decide if City Council can vote members off," 29 June 2018 If the district pays those extra costs without the state paying its two thirds, Gordon said, bond money will vanish much faster than planned. Patrick O'donnell,, "Some promised new schools could be axed as Cleveland district, state fight over money," 15 May 2018 The back-and-forth baseball continued in the bottom of the fifth when Hamilton poked a leadoff double down the left-field line and Jesse Winker executed a perfect bunt single down the right side to give the Reds first-and-third with no outs. Adam Baum,, "Eugenio Suárez shines but the Cincinnati Reds lose to the Milwaukee Brewers," 30 Apr. 2018 But that tension is not necessarily a good thing: The car starts with an overly long hood (despite the absence of an engine to put in it), and the rear two thirds look as if they have been contracted and converted into some extra height. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Mercedes' Electric Maybach SUV Comes With a Built-In Tea Kettle," 24 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near third





third angle

third base


Statistics for third

Last Updated

13 Mar 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).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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