Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The ordinal number matching the number 12 in a series.
  • noun One of 12 equal parts.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Next in order after the eleventh: an ordinal numeral.
  • Being one of twelve equal parts into which a whole is regarded as divided.
  • noun One of twelve equal parts of anything; the quotient of unity divided by twelve.
  • noun In early English law, a twelfth of the rents of the year, or of movables, or both, granted or levied by way of tax.
  • noun In music, a tone twelve diatonic degrees above or below a given tone, or the interval between two such tones; a compound fifth.
  • noun In organ-building, a stop giving tones a twelfth above the normal pitch of the digitals used.
  • noun Twelfth-day.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Next in order after the eleventh; coming after eleven others; -- the ordinal of twelve.
  • adjective Constituting, or being one of, twelve equal parts into which anything is divided.
  • noun The quotient of a unit divided by twelve; one of twelve equal parts of one whole.
  • noun The next in order after the eleventh.
  • noun (Mus.) An interval comprising an octave and a fifth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective ordinal The ordinal form of the number twelve, describing a person or thing in position number 12 of a sequence.
  • noun fractional One of twelve equal parts of a whole.
  • noun music An interval equal to an octave plus a fifth

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

  • adjective coming next after the eleventh and just before the thirteenth in position
  • noun one part in twelve equal parts
  • noun position 12 in a countable series of things

Etymologies

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

[Middle English twelfthe, alteration of Old English twelfta; see dwo- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • Heloise in twelfth century Paris certainly falls under this last category.

    Sensual Encounters: Monastic Women and Spirituality in Medieval Germany

  • The twelfth century had the audacity of its passions, and Wagner at times talks almost plain twelfth century language. —

    Unlikely music critic of the day (literally)

  • For me, gym class finally became almost bearable in twelfth-grade, when the emphasis shifted from team sports to what the teacher called "lifelong activities" like running, golf, and tennis.

    Archive 2007-04-01

  • Song for Eloise set in twelfth century France and fifteen year old Eloise is married off to a man twice her age.

    48 entries from October 2007

  • For me, gym class finally became almost bearable in twelfth-grade, when the emphasis shifted from team sports to what the teacher called "lifelong activities" like running, golf, and tennis.

    And if you're not

  • Song for Eloise set in twelfth century France and fifteen year old Eloise is married off to a man twice her age.

    Song for Eloise

  • The twelfth century had the audacity of its passions, and Wagner at times talks almost plain twelfth century language. —

    Archive 2007-11-01

  • Song for Eloise set in twelfth century France and fifteen year old Eloise is married off to a man twice her age.

    Song for Eloise

  • Set in twelfth century Sicily think saracens, crusades, holy wars, internecine strife, monasteries usually enough there to latch onto but I have truly floundered with this one.

    54 entries from September 2006

  • Set in twelfth century Sicily think saracens, crusades, holy wars, internecine strife, monasteries usually enough there to latch onto but I have truly floundered with this one.

    First Booker-thon failure The Ruby in Her Navel by Barry Unsworth

Comments

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  • Great word! I'm trying to decide which I like better, this or eighth. Fifth gets honorable mention.

    January 16, 2007

  • This word is awesome because it at least three consonant sounds in a row. Or is it four? I think the most you can have in a row in the English language is four.

    March 30, 2009

  • It's three consonant sounds: /l/, /f/, and /th/; another ordinal with three consonant sounds is sixth: /k/, /s/, and /th/.

    March 30, 2009

  • See the conversation at texts.

    March 30, 2009