\ˈthrē \

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

b : three-pointer

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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

He's shown deft handles in spurts, and connected on 43 percent of his threes in Big Ten play. Matthew Giles,, "Ranking the top 50 prospects in the 2018 NBA draft," 19 June 2018 Portland knocked down a few threes toward the end of the period, though, and cut the New Orleans lead down to 75-63 going into the fourth. William Guillory,, "Gayle Benson arrives for Pelicans' playoff opener against Blazers in Portland," 15 Apr. 2018 The Wildcats shoot 50 percent, make 40 percent of their threes, and have six players average double figures. Joe Sullivan,, "Scouting the Final Four: Does Loyola have a shot?," 30 Mar. 2018 Omari Spellman is averaging nine boards and is making 49 percent of his threes. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc to Kings rec basketball coach: Let's talk," 9 Jan. 2018 Junior Aidan Prukop scored 19 points and junior Ryan Evans made six threes, including the game-winning shot with 5.8 seconds left. Eric Sondheimer,, "Mater Dei rallies to defeat Sierra Canyon 72-71," 1 July 2018 Overall, the five boys shooters combined to knock down seven more threes than the girls on the way to a 49-42 team victory. Brent Kennedy, Howard County Times, "Howard County seniors take center stage in boys, girls basketball all-star game event," 28 Mar. 2018 Good things come in threes, including Meghan Markle's chic outfits. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears a Sleeveless Little Black Dress for Her Third Outfit of the Day," 10 July 2018 Women in threes have an easier time splitting responsibility and echo similar messages from their female colleagues. Emily Cassidy /, NBC News, "In the Know: Women in the news," 6 July 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

21 Oct 2018

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 \

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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Comments on three

What made you want to look up three? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


full of whispering sounds

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