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twelve

[twelv] /twɛlv/
noun
1.
a cardinal number, 10 plus 2.
2.
a symbol for this number, as 12 or XII.
3.
a set of this many persons or things.
4.
the Twelve, the 12 apostles chosen by Christ.
adjective
5.
amounting to 12 in number.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English twelve, inflected form of twelf, Old English twelfe literally, (ten and) two leave, i.e., two left over; cognate with Old Frisian twelef, twelf, Old High German zwelif, Old Norse tōlf, Gothic twalif; compare Lithuanian dvýlika; see two, leave1, eleven
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for the twelve

twelve

/twɛlv/
noun
1.
the cardinal number that is the sum of ten and two See also number (sense 1)
2.
a numeral, 12, XII, etc, representing this number
3.
something represented by, representing, or consisting of 12 units
4.
Also called twelve o'clock. noon or midnight
determiner
5.
  1. amounting to twelve twelve loaves
  2. (as pronoun) twelve have arrived See also dozen related adjective duodecimal related prefix dodeca-
Word Origin
Old English twelf; related to Old Frisian twelif, Old High German zwelif, Old Norse tolf, Gothic twalif
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 the twelve

twelve

Old English twelf, literally "two left" (over ten), from Proto-Germanic *twa-lif-, a compound of the root of two + *lif-, root of the verb leave (see eleven). Cf. Old Saxon twelif, Old Norse tolf, Old Frisian twelef, Middle Dutch twalef, Dutch twaalf, Old High German zwelif, German zwölf, Gothic twalif. Outside Germanic, an analogous formation is Lithuanian dvylika, with second element -lika "left over."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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