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[fif-tee] /ˈfɪf ti/
noun, plural fifties.
a cardinal number, ten times five.
a symbol for this number, as 50 or L.
a set of this many persons or things.
fifties, the numbers, years, degrees, or the like, from 50 through 59, as in referring to numbered streets, indicating the years of a lifetime or of a century, or degrees of temperature:
She lives in the East Fifties. He's in his late fifties. It's going to be in the fifties again today.
Informal. a fifty-dollar bill:
He had a fifty and two tens in his wallet.
amounting to 50 in number.
Origin of fifty
before 900; Middle English; Old English fīftig. See five, -ty1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fifty
  • fifty finalists will be selected, ten for each of the five categories.
  • We learned that they can carry fifty percent of their weight.
  • fifty white students are crowded into a too-tight circle.
  • fifty-seven percent of students who never use e-books say it is because they don't know where to find them.
  • fifty years later, that basic idea has evolved into a hot concept in education: adaptive learning.
  • fifty-nine percent were identified as minority students.
  • One hundred and fifty years later, it is more relevant than ever.
  • fifty-three percent said they didn't think hearing protection was needed.
  • One interview, that is, after fifty-plus applications.
  • fifty years ago, it was a common feature of entrance examinations for eighteen year olds as well.
British Dictionary definitions for fifty


noun (pl) -ties
the cardinal number that is the product of ten and five
a numeral, 50, L, etc, representing this number
something represented by, representing, or consisting of 50 units
  1. amounting to fifty: fifty people
  2. (as pronoun): fifty should be sufficient
Word Origin
Old English fīftig
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 fifty

Old English fiftig, from fif "five" (see five) + -tig "group of ten" (see -ty (1)). Cf. Old Frisian fiftich, Old Norse fimm tigir, Dutch vijftig, Old High German fimfzug, German fünfzig, Gothic fimf tigjus. U.S. colloquial fifty-fifty "in an even division" is from 1913.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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