A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[eyts] /eɪts/
noun, (used with a singular verb)


[eyt] /eɪt/
a cardinal number, seven plus one.
a symbol for this number, as 8 or VIII.
a set of this many persons or things, as the crew of an eight-oared racing shell.
a playing card the face of which bears eight pips.
  1. an automobile powered by an eight-cylinder engine.
  2. an eight-cylinder engine.
amounting to eight in number.
before 1000; Middle English eighte, Old English (e)ahta; cognate with Dutch acht, Old Saxon, Old High German ahto (German acht), Old Norse ātta, Gothic ahtau, Latin octō, Greek oktṓ, Old Irish ocht, Welsh wyth, Breton eiz, Tocharian B okt, Lithuanian aštuonì, Albanian tetë, Armenian uth, Persian hasht, Sanskrit aṣṭáu; apparently an old dual in form, but not clear of what
Can be confused
ate, eight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for eights
  • While as this example shows, there are different lengths of line, they are not all in eights and sixes.
  • They have crammed as many lucky number eights into the arrangements as they sensibly could.
  • More fun awaits you as you practice figure eights on the ice-skating rink.
  • Three-eights inch padding on the sides and bottom allow the boat to operate in as little as one inch of water.
  • The fort was three-eights of an octagon at the top of a cliff.
  • Applicants must have an accredited engineering degree and a minimum of four to eights years of engineering experience.
  • The inner wall plates consist of double two by eights resting on edge.
  • It could take off and land, fly until the gas ran out, and fly in circles and figure eights.
  • Tie-in new shaft to existing bldg and construct a new elevator lobby entrances up to the eights floor.
  • Other patterns include spirals and figure eights of various density gradients.
British Dictionary definitions for eights


the cardinal number that is the sum of one and seven and the product of two and four See also number (sense 1)
a numeral, 8, VIII, etc, representing this number
(music) the numeral 8 used as the lower figure in a time signature to indicate that the beat is measured in quavers
the amount or quantity that is one greater than seven
something representing, represented by, or consisting of eight units, such as a playing card with eight symbols on it
  1. a racing shell propelled by eight oarsmen
  2. the crew of such a shell
Also called eight o'clock. eight hours after noon or midnight
(slang) have one over the eight, to be drunk
  1. amounting to eight
  2. (as pronoun): I could only find eight
prefixes octa- octo-
Word Origin
Old English eahta; related to Old High German ahto, Old Norse ātta, Old Irish ocht, Latin octō, Greek okto, Sanskrit astau
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for eights



late 14c., eighte, earlier ehte (c.1200), from Old English eahta, æhta, from Proto-Germanic *akhto(u) (cf. Old Saxon ahto, Old Frisian ahta, Old Norse atta, Swedish åtta, Dutch acht, Old High German Ahto, German acht, Gothic ahtau), from PIE *okto(u) "eight" (cf. Sanskrit astau, Avestan ashta, Greek okto, Latin octo, Old Irish ocht-n, Breton eiz, Old Church Slavonic osmi, Lithuanian aštuoni).

Klein calls it "an old dual form, orig. meaning 'twice four.' " For spelling, see fight (v.). Meaning "eight-man crew of a rowing boat" is from 1847. The Spanish piece of eight (1690s) was so called because it was worth eight reals (see piece (n.)). Figure (of) eight as the shape of a race course, etc., attested from c.1600. To be behind the eight ball "in trouble" (1932) is a metaphor from shooting pool.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for eights


Related Terms

forked-eight, forty-eight

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with eights
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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