from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The ordinal number matching the number five in a series.
  • n. One of five equal parts.
  • n. One fifth of a gallon or four fifths of a quart of liquor.
  • n. Music A tone five degrees above or below a given tone in a diatonic scale.
  • n. Music The interval between two such tones.
  • n. Music The harmonic combination of two such tones.
  • n. Music The dominant of a scale or key.
  • n. The Fifth Amendment. Used with the.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. The ordinal form of the number five.
  • n. The person or thing in the fifth position.
  • n. One of five equal parts of a whole.
  • n. The fifth gear of an engine.
  • n. A quantity of liquor equal to one-fifth of a gallon, or, more commonly, 750 milliliters.
  • n. The musical interval between one note and another five tones higher.
  • n. The fifth voice in a polyphonic melody.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Next in order after the fourth; -- the ordinal of five.
  • adj. Consisting of one of five equal divisions of a thing.
  • n. The quotient of a unit divided by five; one of five equal parts; a fifth part.
  • n. The interval of three tones and a semitone, embracing five diatonic degrees of the scale; the dominant of any key.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Next after the fourth: an ordinal numeral.
  • n. The quotient of unity divided by five; one of five equal parts of anything: as, one fifth (⅕) of an acre.
  • n. In music: A tone five diatonic degrees above or below any given tone.
  • n. The interval between any tone and a tone five degrees distant from it.
  • n. The combination of two tones distant by a fifth.
  • n. In a scale, the fifth tone from the bottom; the dominant: solmizated sol, as G in the scale of C, or E in that of A.
  • n. In early English law, a fifth part of the rents of the year, or of movables, or both, granted or levied by way of tax.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. one part in five equal parts
  • n. a quantity of liquor equal to one fifth of a United States gallon
  • adj. coming next after the fourth and just before the sixth in position
  • n. position five in a countable series of things
  • n. the musical interval between one note and another five notes away from it


Middle English, from Old English fīfta; see penkwe in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English fifthe, fifte, fift, from Old English fīfta ("fifth"), from Proto-Germanic *femftô (“fifth”), equivalent to five +‎ -th. Cognate with Scots fift, fyft ("fifth"), North Frisian fyfde ("fifth"), West Frisian fyfde ("fifth"), Dutch vijfde ("fifth"), Low German fifte, föfte, füfte ("fifth"), German fünfte ("fifth"), Danish femte ("fifth"), Swedish femte ("fifth"), Icelandic fimmta ("fifth"). (Wiktionary)



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