"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[siks-teen] /ˈsɪksˈtin/
a cardinal number, ten plus six.
a symbol for this number, as 16 or XVI.
a set of this many persons or things.
amounting to 16 in number.
Origin of sixteen
before 900; Middle English, Old English sixtēne; cognate with Dutch zestien, German sechzehn, Old Norse sextān. See six, -teen Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sixteen
  • sixteen holes filled with dynamite formed a blast pattern that loosened a chunk of copper ore to be transported to the surface.
  • sixteen mummies still had identifiable hearts or arteries.
  • sixteen had suffered some form of intestinal bleeding, and three had undergone surgery to repair injuries to their necks.
  • Not only has the sea level not fallen but has risen over the past sixteen years.
  • The e-ink technology powering its screen is also a newer generation, displaying sixteen shades of gray rather than four.
  • sixteen sensors measure the brain's electromagnetic signals and send them to a computer.
  • At forty-six he was as strong and active as at sixteen, his youthful ideals as undimmed.
  • sixteen public bath-houses on shore are to take the place of the swimming baths.
  • She is sixteen, and she is a schoolgirl, or was before her illness.
  • Two local teenagers, one eighteen and the other sixteen at the time, were eventually convicted of the killing.
British Dictionary definitions for sixteen


the cardinal number that is the sum of ten and six See also number (sense 1)
a numeral, 16, XVI, etc, representing this number
(music) the numeral 16 used as the lower figure of a time signature to indicate that the beat is measured in semiquavers
something represented by, representing, or consisting of 16 units
  1. amounting to sixteen: sixteen tons
  2. (as pronoun): sixteen are known to the police
Word Origin
Old English sextyne
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for sixteen

Old English sixtyne, from siex (see six) + -teen. Cf. Old Frisian sextine, Middle Dutch sestien, Dutch zestien, German sechszehn, Old Norse sextan.

The age of the gods is always sixteen. Sixteen represents the number of perfection, of plenitude. In man it is after the sixteenth year that the first elements of decay begin to appear, and when the moon reaches the sixteenth digit it begins to decrease. [Alain Daniélou, "The Myths and Gods of India"]
From Latin contracted form sexdecim, sedecim come Italian sedici, French seize.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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