Definitions

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

  • adj. Being of a specified position in a numbered series: an ordinal rank of seventh.
  • adj. Of or relating to a taxonomic order.
  • n. An ordinal number.
  • n. Ecclesiastical A book of instructions for daily services.
  • n. Ecclesiastical A book of forms for ordination.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of a number, indicating position in a sequence.
  • adj. Of or relating to the groupings called orders.
  • n. An ordinal number such as first, second and third.
  • n. A book used in the ordination of Anglican ministers, or in certain Roman Catholic services

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Indicating order or succession; Contrasted to cardinal.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to an order.
  • n. A word or number denoting order or succession.
  • n. The book of forms for making, ordaining, and consecrating bishops, priests, and deacons.
  • n. A book containing the rubrics of the Mass.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Noting position in an order or series: an epithet designating one of that class of numerals which describe an object as occupying a certain place in a series of similar objects; first, second, third, etc., are ordinal numbers.
  • In natural history, pertaining to, characteristic of, or designating an order, as of animals, or a family of plants: as, ordinal terms; a group of ordinal value; ordinal distinctions; ordinal rank.
  • n. A numeral which designates the place or position of an object in some particular series, as first, second, third, etc.
  • n. A body of regulations.
  • n. A book containing the orders and constitutions of a religious house or a college.
  • n. In England before the Reformation, a book directing in what manner the services for the canonical hours should be said throughout the year; a directory of the daily office: also known as the ordinale, pica, or pie. It contained a calendar, and gave the variations in the choir offices according to the day or season.
  • n. In the Anglican Ch. since the Reformation, a book containing the forms for making, ordaining, and consecrating bishops, priests, and deacons; a collection of officers prescribing the form and manner of conferring holy orders. The ordinal was first published in English in 1550, and was slightly changed in 1552 and 1662. Although technically a separate book, it has always since 1552 been bound with the Prayer-book.

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

  • n. the number designating place in an ordered sequence
  • adj. of or relating to a taxonomic order
  • adj. being or denoting a numerical order in a series

Etymologies

Middle English ordinel, orderly, regular, from Late Latin ōrdinālis, ordinal, from Latin ōrdō, ōrdin-, order; see ar- in Indo-European roots. N., sense 2, from Middle English, from Medieval Latin ōrdināle, from Late Latin, neuter sing. of ōrdinālis, ordinal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin ordinalis, adjective formed from noun ordo, order, + adjective suffix -alis (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Consider the confusing legacy of the term ordinal which, while more consistently used then all of the above terms, has the disadvantage that all of them have the potential to be intuitive, something that ordinal will never have going for it.

    MSDN Blogs

  • Reinach finds that so-called ordinal numbers are nothing but a shorthand way of referring to the (cardinal) number of terms a certain series contains up to some given term.

    Adolf Reinach

  • When an agent's preferences are complete and transitive and satisfy a further continuity condition, then they can be represented by a so-called ordinal utility function.

    Philosophy of Economics

  • He introduced the notion of ordinal rank for ordinary sets and he noticed that ordinary sets can be arranged in a cumulative hierarchy, indexed by their ranks.

    Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic

  • Reductive proof theory in this sense has followed two traditions: the first, mainly carried out by proof theorists following Gentzen and Schütte, has pursued a program of what is called ordinal analysis, and is exemplified by Gentzen's first consistency proof of PA by induction up to ε0. ε0 is a certain transfinite (though countable) ordinal, however, “induction up to ε0” in the sense used here is not a genuinely transfinite procedure.

    Hilbert's Program

  • Dr Simner explains: "There is one called ordinal-linguistic personification.

    Red Ice Creations

  • Miscellaneous inspector text's miscellaneous worksheet formula functions are itST and itCONCATULA. itST returns the English ordinal indicator, also known as the ordinal suffix, of a cardinal number.

    Softpedia - Windows - All

  • The ordinal numbers have the following structure: every ordinal number has an immediate successor known as a successor ordinal; and for any infinitely ascending sequence of ordinal numbers, there is a limit ordinal which is greater than all the members of the sequence and which is not the immediate successor of any member of the sequence.

    The Revision Theory of Truth

  • If the rankings are reasonably consistent across scientists, then you now have an ordinal scale for communicating confidence in a scientific theory.

    Climate Change Informatics Research Areas | Serendipity

  • With an amount figure important professions to opt from (you intend a ordinal digit if you have the treatment pack), you will encounter that you can be meet most anyone you desire to be on the mettlesome World of Warcraft.

    Globe Jason | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

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