plural fourths ˈfȯr(th)s How to pronounce fourth (audio)
: one that is number four in a series see Table of Numbers
: a musical interval (see interval sense 2) embracing four tones of the diatonic scale
: a tone at this interval
specifically : subdominant sense 1
: the harmonic combination of two tones a fourth apart
: the fourth forward gear or speed of a motor vehicle
shifted into fourth
capitalized : independence day
used with the
watched fireworks on the Fourth
fourth adjective or adverb
fourthly adverb

Example Sentences

cut the cake into fourths She drank a fourth of the bottle.
Recent Examples on the Web Ice accumulations of up to one-fourth of an inch and sleet accumulations up to one-tenth of an inch are possible Wednesday in North Texas, including in Dallas, Denton, Tarrant and Collin counties. Dallas News, 23 Feb. 2022 DeJulius opened the second half with another 3-pointer, his fourth of the night. Keith Jenkins, The Enquirer, 24 Nov. 2022 On average, cities across Southern California that are supplied by the Metropolitan Water District typically get about one-fourth of their water from the Colorado River. Ian James, Los Angeles Times, 20 June 2022 The western fourth of the state is still abnormally dry, but no severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions exist anywhere in the state. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 31 May 2022 His appearance against North Carolina was his fourth of the season. Brett Dawson, The Courier-Journal, 2 Feb. 2022 The ponytail has a simple plait that wasn't braided all the way through, leaving the last fourth of the Kanekalon hair to sit freely at the end. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 8 Oct. 2021 The group ranked from seventh to forty-fourth encompasses Stellantis (#9), BMW (#10), Volvo (#11), Honda (#13), and Ford (#14). Shawn Tully, Fortune, 8 Sep. 2021 According to the World Economic Forum’s 2010 Global Gender Gap Report, Italy ranks seventy-fourth in women’s rights, between the Dominican Republic and Gambia. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 12 Aug. 2021 See More

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

Word History


see four

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near fourth

Cite this Entry

“Fourth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


ˈfō(ə)rth How to pronounce fourth (audio)
: one that is number four in a series see number
: the difference in pitch between the first tone and the fourth tone of a scale
fourth adjective or adverb
fourthly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on fourth

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