9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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
  • Cook two tablespoons butter with one sliced onion five minutes.
  • Biscuits require more heat than loaf bread, should continue rising the first five minutes, and begin to brown in eight minutes.
  • Cook five minutes two tablespoons butter with one-half tablespoon finely chopped onion.
  • Turn in a buttered pudding-dish, and bake thirty-five minutes in a slow oven.
  • Willow's transcontinental exploits during the past five years are a mystery.
  • If you compare apples to apples: twenty five years to twenty five years.
  • The five items do concern themselves with loyalty and authority, but freedom as a value is not mentioned.
  • five high-profile rulings overturned in latest term.
  • The diode emits infrared laser pulses every five milliseconds.
  • Every year, more than one million children under the age of five die as a result of diarrhoea.
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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