: a number equal to one more than 11 see Table of Numbers
: the twelve original disciples of Jesus
: the books of the Minor Prophets in the Jewish Scriptures
: the 12th in a set or series
: something having 12 units or members
twelves plural : twelvemo
twelfth 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 The inherent smoothness of a twelve minimizes the noise and vibration transmitted through a car's driveline; and in BMW's view, this benefit outshone the size, weight, and cost advantages of simpler engine designs. Csaba Csere, Car and Driver, 8 Apr. 2023 Good news comes in twelves for Riverside Regional Medical Center! Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 14 June 2023 In addition, twelves are unusually responsive: their flywheel mass is minimal, and their small, lightweight reciprocating components are quick to accelerate. Csaba Csere, Car and Driver, 8 Apr. 2023 Success at home soon led to success across Norway, as Golten Andersen began sharing his tall tales as podcasts and audiobooks, and then as a popular series of children’s books with six volumes already published and another twelve to come. Ben Croll, Variety, 21 Sep. 2022 Since the fourth quarter of that year, profits, based on the trailing twelves months of GAAP earnings, have jumped 41% to a blowout record of $134.39 per share. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 17 July 2019 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, 14 June 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'twelve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near twelve

Cite this Entry

“Twelve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a number equal to one more than 11 see number
capitalized : the twelve original disciples of Jesus
: the 12th in a set or series
twelve adjective or pronoun

More from Merriam-Webster on twelve

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