\ˈthərd \

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

Perhaps more importantly, people who do buy from Brandless don’t seem to be purchasing from them again at the same rate as some of its competitors, according to data from two third-party sources. Rani Molla, Recode, "Brandless wants to create the next great consumer packaged goods brand — but it hasn’t built customer loyalty yet," 18 Oct. 2018 Bernstein expects revenue from the category to jump 40 percent year-over-year to $3.8 billion in the fiscal third quarter. Mark Gurman, The Seattle Times, "Apple investors seek clues on next iPhones with results," 30 July 2018 American Carli Lloyd’s third goal scored from midfield against Japan in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final, which completed a hat trick. Amanda Christovich, USA TODAY, "Andres Cantor explains how his famous 'gol!' call came to be, gives his top 5 calls of the last decade," 13 July 2018 The 2018-19 third kit pays homage to fan favourite kits from 1987-91, particularly the Reds’ strip from the historic 1989-90 season, when Kenny Dalglish’s side became First Division champions for the 18th time., "PHOTO: Liverpool Unveil Trendy New Third Kit Ahead of 2018/19 Season," 12 July 2018 Pompeo’s third visit to Pyongyang led to a seeming disconnect. Tracy Wilkinson,, "After North Korea's swipe, Pompeo must focus on pace and structure if nuclear talks are to succeed," 10 July 2018 Rotation in Detroit — The Rangers four-game series in Detroit beginning Thursday includes Yovani Gallardo's third start since rejoining the club. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Enjoy the enjoyable even if your team stinks," 4 July 2018 Accidents fell by more than a third, according to Waze. Michael Laris, Washington Post, "Federal researchers are using data from Waze and Maryland to try to predict road dangers," 7 July 2018 An out later, Votto singled, sending Winker to third. John Fay,, "Castillo collapses in the fifth as Cincinnati Reds fall to Padres 6-3 to end trip 3-6," 3 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Removing someone from the Court would require an investigation and formal charges by the House Judiciary Committee, a majority vote in the House, a trial in the Senate, and a two-thirds majority. Gregory Koger, Vox, "How a Democratic Congress can push back against the Supreme Court," 12 Nov. 2018 Dye's challenge came in harmonizing as the duo broke with its Everly Brothers-style thirds. Tom Roland, Billboard, "Maddie & Tae Start An Evolution With Mercury Debut, 'Friends Don't'," 5 June 2018 Fold banana purée and flour mixture into sugar-butter mixture in thirds, alternating between wet and dry ingredients, making sure ingredients are fully incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl between additions. 4. Charlotte Druckman, WSJ, "Build a Better Banana Bread," 23 May 2018 But Cleveland will miss that top-of-the-third-round selection and will have to wait a long time in between picks in the middle rounds, an area where general manager John Dorsey has found some gems in the past., "2018 NFL Mock Draft: All nine picks for Cleveland Browns," 25 Apr. 2018 Today, there are more than 300,000 across the state, according to the MDNR, which said the birds are found in every county but most common in the southern third of the state. Hasan Dudar, Detroit Free Press, "Teen golfer saw a goose flying at him, 'and that's when I started sprinting'," 24 Apr. 2018 The other two thirds were left with temporary concrete until construction resumes. CBS News, "Heavy rain in Northern California may test spillway at nation's tallest dam," 6 Apr. 2018 The Fire/Rescue/EMS Department, which covers the southern two thirds of town, is working with the Eighth Utilities District, which handles the northern third, on town-wide strategic planning. Jesse Leavenworth, Courant Community, "Report Shows Growing Pressure On Manchester To Maintain Services As Population Increases," 2 Apr. 2018 The Tide converted two of its 15 third-down opportunities. Rainer Sabin,, "Julio Jones: 'I love' ex-Alabama, Atlanta Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian," 30 Jan. 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

4 Dec 2018

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 \

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

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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