ump·​teenth ˈəm(p)-ˌtēn(t)th How to pronounce umpteenth (audio)
: latest or last in an indefinitely numerous series
Wiping mashed banana out of your toddler's hair for the umpteenth time can be—let's face it—tedious and irritating.Bonnie Schiedel
"No," said James, pulling on his umpteenth cigarette …Redmond O'Hanlon
… the umpteenth wet and dreary day of a peculiar California winter …Jane Fritsch

Did you know?

"I'll go to bed and I'll not get up for umpty-eleven months." You know the feeling. The speaker here is war-weary Bill, a character in Patrick MacGill's early 20th-century novel The Great Push. His "umpty" originated as military slang around 1905 and stood for an indefinite number, generally largish. (It was probably created by analogy to actual numbers such as "twenty.") Soon, there followed "umpteen," blending "umpty" and "-teen." "Umpteen" usually describes an indefinite and large number or amount, while the related "umpteenth" is used for the latest or last in an indefinitely numerous series. We only occasionally use "umpty" these days (and even more rarely "umptieth"), but you're bound to hear or read "umpteen" and "umpteenth" any number of times.

Examples of umpteenth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Grunge rock’s most indefatigable missionaries, Melvins, will return this spring with Tarantula Heart, their umpteenth release since the turn of the millennium (or is that umphundredth?). Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 20 Mar. 2024 Green, for the fourth time this year and for the umpteenth time of this dynasty, lost his cool in such a manner that removed him from the court. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 27 Mar. 2024 For the umpteenth time, Kanye pissed off the whole world in 2022 with his spree of antisemitic comments. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 20 Mar. 2024 After the umpteenth attempt, with his mother smiling nearby, Cancela sighed after securing a passable knot. Billy Witz, New York Times, 8 Mar. 2024 For the umpteenth time under Kenny Payne, there is nowhere for the Louisville men's basketball program to go but up. The Courier-Journal, 30 Jan. 2024 After discovering that her husband, Bill, is engaged in his umpteenth affair, Babe is contemplating divorce, but Capote discourages it, citing her age and Bill’s stature as the chairman of CBS. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 1 Feb. 2024 For the umpteenth time during a half-hour interview, Ivy moves his hand just a few inches to grasp his cellphone. Robert N. Jenkins, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 The Character All Of It Samsung s Powerful Galaxy S24 Ultra Upgrade Confirmed Across the country, New York lawmakers revived the New York Health Act, another single-payer proposal, for the umpteenth time this past July. Sally Pipes, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023

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

Word History


umpteen + -th entry 2

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of umpteenth was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near umpteenth

Cite this Entry

“Umpteenth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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