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

  • n. The cardinal number equal to 4 × 10.
  • n. A decade or the numbers from 40 to 49: They stopped smoking in their forties. At night the temperature fell into the forties.
  • n. The decade from 40 to 49 in a century.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The cardinal number occurring after thirty-nine and before forty-one.
  • n. A 40 ounce bottle of beer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Four times ten; thirty-nine and one more.
  • n. The sum of four tens; forty units or objects.
  • n. A symbol expressing forty units; as, 40, or xl.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Four times ten; ten more than thirty, or one more than thirty-nine: a cardinal numeral.
  • The sum of four tens, or of thirty-nine and one.
  • A symbol representing this number, as 40, XL, or xl.
  • The name (with qualifying terms) of two appellate civil tribunals and a criminal court in the Venetian republic.
  • A collective designation of the members of the French Academy, forty in number. Also called the Forty Immortals.

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

  • adj. being ten more than thirty
  • n. the cardinal number that is the product of ten and four


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

Middle English, from Old English fēowertig; see kwetwer- in Indo-European roots.



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  • The only alphaliteral number in English. German has eins and acht; French has deux, cinq, and dix. What about other languages?

    July 16, 2010