\ ˈtwelv How to pronounce twelve (audio) \

Definition of twelve

1 : a number equal to one more than 11 — see Table of Numbers

2 capitalized

a : the twelve original disciples of Jesus
b : the books of the Minor Prophets in the Jewish Scriptures
3 : the 12th in a set or series
4 : something having 12 units or members
5 twelves plural : twelvemo

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Other Words from twelve

twelfth \ ˈtwelf(t)th How to pronounce twelfth (audio) \ adjective or noun
twelve adjective
twelve pronoun, plural in construction

Examples of twelve in a Sentence

“What time is it?” “It's twelve.” I have lunch at twelve.

Recent Examples on the Web

Menswear's most aggressively suited-and-booted tradeshow is here once again, and with it, the dressed-to-the-twelves peacocks that make the biannual pilgrimage to Florence. Dan Roberts, GQ, "The Best Street Style from Pitti Uomo," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'twelve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of twelve

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

History and Etymology for twelve

Middle English, from Old English twelf; akin to Old High German zwelif twelve, Old English twā two, -leofan (as in endleofan eleven) — more at two, eleven

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Time Traveler for twelve

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

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More Definitions for twelve



English Language Learners Definition of twelve

: the number 12
: the 12th in a set or series
: twelve o'clock


\ ˈtwelv How to pronounce twelve (audio) \

Kids Definition of twelve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: being one more than eleven



Kids Definition of twelve (Entry 2 of 2)

: one more than eleven : three times four : 12

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More from Merriam-Webster on twelve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with twelve

Spanish Central: Translation of twelve

Nglish: Translation of twelve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of twelve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on twelve

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


a strong desire or propensity

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