\ 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

The Sixers missed four threes in the final minutes and the Celtics held on to take the win. Sarah Todd,, "Sixers-Celtics Game 2 was a shootout, and Boston's final run sealed it for them," 4 May 2018 Has other highs of nine rebounds, five assists, three steals and four threes made. James Weber,, "Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky ties to March Madness: You might be surprised by this list.," 13 Mar. 2018 Kristina Kline led the Warriors with 14 points including four threes., "Colonial, Oak Ridge will host region finals |Girls Basketball roundup," 21 Feb. 2018 After hitting four threes early to take an 18-14 lead at Temple, the Huskies went ice cold from the floor, Jalen Adams was double-teamed and denied the ball and UConn could do little else on offense. Dom Amore,, "Far-Reaching NCAA Probe Focuses On Recruiting Process At UConn," 31 Jan. 2018 Then the Patriots’ big run came in the third quarter, hitting four threes and outscoring Howard 11-3 in a three-minute stretch to end the period to take the team’s first lead at 43-41. Brent Kennedy, Howard County Times, "Big fourth quarter helps Howard girls basketball pull away from John Carroll," 21 Jan. 2018 Klay Thompson made more threes in one half of one game than Antetokounmpo in his 22 games this season. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The NBA’s Big Greek Dunking Machine," 6 Dec. 2018 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

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

20 May 2019

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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

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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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