\ ˈthrē How to pronounce three (audio) \

Definition of three

1 : a number that is one more than 2 — see Table of Numbers
2 : the third in a set or series the three of hearts
3a : something having three units or members

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Other Words from three

three adjective
three pronoun, plural in construction

Examples of three in a Sentence

“What time is it?” “It's three.” I leave each day at three.

Recent Examples on the Web

Iowa State more than doubled its win total from 2016 to 2017, finishing with the most wins (8) in a season since 2000 including a school-record three wins over ranked opponents. Matt Murschel,, "Five storylines to watch in the Big 12 this spring," 22 Mar. 2018 James now relies on threes for nearly 30% of his shots. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "How LeBron James Became Stephen Curry," 20 Dec. 2018 However, the Sixers have shot only 29.5 percent on threes in the first four games. Keith Pompey,, "Sixers-Celtics Game 5 preview: A three spree would help Philly," 9 May 2018 No one who has taken as many threes per game as Westbrook has ever made them at a lower rate. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Star With the Worst Shooting Season in NBA History," 14 Jan. 2019 Wayne Ellington, Minnesota Timberwolves Ellington set the record for three pointers hit by a bench player last season, finishing sixth in threes for a Heat team that became dangerously reliant on his offense. Rohan Nadkarni,, "Playing Matchmaker for Your Favorite NBA Free Agents," 26 June 2018 Milwaukee’s 6-foot-11 star Giannis Antetokounmpo, for example, is the front-runner to win the league’s MVP award despite shooting 17% on his meager 2.4 threes per game. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Star With the Worst Shooting Season in NBA History," 14 Jan. 2019 The Celtics were just 29-for-74 from the field (39.2%), including 6-for-22 on threes (27.3%). Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "LeBron James, Cavaliers destroy Celtics in Game 3 of Eastern Conference finals," 19 May 2018 After producing the most three-pointers in NBA history off the bench and setting a new franchise-record for threes in a regular season (227), Ellington, 30, is bound to get a healthy raise this summer. Manny Navarro, miamiherald, "Ellington would like another shot with Heat next season. But is a restructuring imminent? | Miami Herald," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'three.' 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 three

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for three

Middle English, from three, adjective, from Old English thrīe (masculine), thrēo (feminine & neuter); akin to Old High German drī three, Latin tres, Greek treis

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Statistics for three

Last Updated

22 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for three

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

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More Definitions for three



English Language Learners Definition of three

: the number 3
: the third in a set or series
: three o'clock


\ ˈthrē How to pronounce three (audio) \

Kids Definition of three

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: being one more than two



Kids Definition of three (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one more than two : 3
2 : the third in a set or series

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More from Merriam-Webster on three

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with three

Spanish Central: Translation of three

Nglish: Translation of three for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of three for Arabic Speakers

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