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[fahyv] /faɪv/
a cardinal number, four plus one.
a symbol for this number, as 5 or V.
a set of this many persons or things.
a playing card, die face, or half of a domino face with five pips.
Informal. a five-dollar bill:
Can you give me two fives for a ten?
amounting to five in number.
take five, Informal. to take a brief respite.
Origin of five
before 1000; 1925-30 for def 7; Middle English; Old English fīf; cognate with Dutch vijf, German fünf, Old Norse fimm, Gothic fimf, Latin quīnque, Greek pénte, Sanskrit pancha Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for five
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "five hundred—d'ye say five" said the postman from the half of his mouth that was clear.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • five hundred workmen were polishing off their plates in the great room.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • It moved slowly, and in about five minutes disappeared behind a mountain.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • About five o'clock he started off to call on Pen, and tell her about the Secretary's letter.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • They stayed only five days in his hands, when they passed over to Mr. Doane.

    Cattle and Their Diseases Robert Jennings
British Dictionary definitions for five


the cardinal number that is the sum of four and one
a numeral, 5, V, etc, representing this number
the amount or quantity that is one greater than four
something representing, represented by, or consisting of five units, such as a playing card with five symbols on it
  1. amounting to five: five minutes, five nights
  2. (as pronoun): choose any five you like, related prefixes penta- quinque-
See also fives
Word Origin
Old English fīf; related to Old Norse fimm, Gothic fimf, Old High German finf, Latin quinque, Greek pente, Sanskrit pañca
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 five

Old English fif, from Proto-Germanic *fimfe (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon fif, Dutch vijf, Old Norse fimm, Old High German funf, Gothic fimf), from PIE *penkwe- (cf. Sanskrit panca, Greek pente, Latin quinque, Old Church Slavonic peti, Lithuanian penke, Old Welsh pimp). The sound shift that removed the *-m- is a regular development involving Old English, Old Frisian, and Old Saxon (cf. thought, from stem of think; couth from *kunthaz; us from *uns.

Slang five-finger discount "theft" is from 1966. Five o'clock shadow attested by 1937. The original five-year plan was 1928 in the U.S.S.R.

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



The hand; the five fingers (1950s+ Jive talk)

Related Terms

give someone five, hang five, nine-to-five, slip (or give) me five, take five

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 five


see: take five
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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