for·​ty | \ ˈfȯr-tē How to pronounce forty (audio) \
plural forties

Definition of forty

1 : a number equal to four times 10 — see Table of Numbers
2 forties plural : the numbers 40 to 49 specifically : the years 40 to 49 in a lifetime or century
3 : the third point scored by a side in a game of tennis
4 or 40, US, informal : a forty-ounce bottle or other container of an alcoholic beverage (such as beer or malt liquor) Kelvin finished his forty in seven or eight long gulps. Tossed the bottle in the median carpeted with brown grass.— Dave Byrne … smoking weed and drinking 40s while her kids run loose.— Jim Schutze

Other Words from forty

fortieth \ ˈfȯr-​tē-​əth How to pronounce forty (audio) \ adjective or noun
forty adjective
forty pronoun, plural in construction
fortyish \ ˈfȯr-​tē-​ish How to pronounce forty (audio) \ adjective

Examples of forty in a Sentence

The temperature outside is in the high forties. She is in her forties.
Recent Examples on the Web The dead were then buried in the local churchyard or in family plots on the back forty of the farm. Lisa Wells, Harper's Magazine, 28 Sep. 2021 The middle forty to fifty per cent decided the outcome of elections. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 16 June 2021 There was another patient waiting, a woman in her forties with brown, chin-length hair. Brooke Jarvis, Wired, 13 May 2020 Now, today’s middle-class workers in their forties and even fifties will likely get stuck with the huge tax increases. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 20 Apr. 2020 Despite initial data from China that showed elderly people and those with other health conditions were most vulnerable, young people — from twenty-somethings to those in their early forties — are falling seriously ill. Robert Langreth,, 15 Mar. 2020 The victim has so far only been identified as a man in his forties or fifties. Chris Harris,, 4 Dec. 2019 His memoir, starting with life here in the thirties and forties, is the main course of Reflections and it is presented with side dishes of state and local history, travelogues, biographies, philosophy and fishing lore., 31 Oct. 2019 That growing up includes my twenties, my thirties, and even my forties. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 30 July 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of forty

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

History and Etymology for forty

Middle English fourty, adjective, from Old English fēowertig, from fēowertig group of 40, from fēower four + -tig group of 10; akin to Old English tīen ten

Learn More About forty

Time Traveler for forty

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near forty

Fort Worth



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Statistics for forty

Cite this Entry

“Forty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for forty


for·​ty | \ ˈfȯr-tē How to pronounce forty (audio) \

Kids Definition of forty

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: being four times ten



Kids Definition of forty (Entry 2 of 2)

: four times ten : 40

More from Merriam-Webster on forty

Nglish: Translation of forty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forty for Arabic Speakers


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