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[eyts] /eɪts/
noun, (used with a singular verb)


[eyt] /eɪt/
a cardinal number, seven plus one.
a symbol for this number, as 8 or VIII.
a set of this many persons or things, as the crew of an eight-oared racing shell.
a playing card the face of which bears eight pips.
  1. an automobile powered by an eight-cylinder engine.
  2. an eight-cylinder engine.
amounting to eight in number.
Origin of eight
before 1000; Middle English eighte, Old English (e)ahta; cognate with Dutch acht, Old Saxon, Old High German ahto (German acht), Old Norse ātta, Gothic ahtau, Latin octō, Greek oktṓ, Old Irish ocht, Welsh wyth, Breton eiz, Tocharian B okt, Lithuanian aštuonì, Albanian tetë, Armenian uth, Persian hasht, Sanskrit aṣṭáu; apparently an old dual in form, but not clear of what
Can be confused
ate, eight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for eights
Historical Examples
  • What became of Little Dorrit between the two eights was a mystery.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Explained clearly, haven't I, about the club flush and the three eights.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • All the sleighs had been lashed together by fours, sixes, eights, or tens.

    The Land of the Long Night Paul du Chaillu
  • I finished the round in my usual style, mostly sevens and eights.

    Torchy As A Pa Sewell Ford
  • Every boy who was at all interested in the eights—and who was not?

    Two Daring Young Patriots W. P. Shervill
  • The shells were to be kept ready for use—the eights, the fours and the singles.

    The Eight-Oared Victors

    Lester Chadwick
  • This clever soshable Animle has got a mainyer for eights of everything.

  • I'm not a sentimentalist, but I liked the eights, and I mean to keep this souvenir.

    An American Girl in London Sara Jeannette Duncan
  • "I've already accepted an invitation for eights Week," she said, after a pause.

    Kathleen Christopher Morley
  • I never rowed in any of the eights, though I was urged to do so.

    The Passionate Friends Herbert George Wells
British Dictionary definitions for eights


the cardinal number that is the sum of one and seven and the product of two and four See also number (sense 1)
a numeral, 8, VIII, etc, representing this number
(music) the numeral 8 used as the lower figure in a time signature to indicate that the beat is measured in quavers
the amount or quantity that is one greater than seven
something representing, represented by, or consisting of eight units, such as a playing card with eight symbols on it
  1. a racing shell propelled by eight oarsmen
  2. the crew of such a shell
Also called eight o'clock. eight hours after noon or midnight
(slang) have one over the eight, to be drunk
  1. amounting to eight
  2. (as pronoun): I could only find eight
prefixes octa- octo-
Word Origin
Old English eahta; related to Old High German ahto, Old Norse ātta, Old Irish ocht, Latin octō, Greek okto, Sanskrit astau
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 eights



late 14c., eighte, earlier ehte (c.1200), from Old English eahta, æhta, from Proto-Germanic *akhto(u) (cf. Old Saxon ahto, Old Frisian ahta, Old Norse atta, Swedish åtta, Dutch acht, Old High German Ahto, German acht, Gothic ahtau), from PIE *okto(u) "eight" (cf. Sanskrit astau, Avestan ashta, Greek okto, Latin octo, Old Irish ocht-n, Breton eiz, Old Church Slavonic osmi, Lithuanian aštuoni).

Klein calls it "an old dual form, orig. meaning 'twice four.' " For spelling, see fight (v.). Meaning "eight-man crew of a rowing boat" is from 1847. The Spanish piece of eight (1690s) was so called because it was worth eight reals (see piece (n.)). Figure (of) eight as the shape of a race course, etc., attested from c.1600. To be behind the eight ball "in trouble" (1932) is a metaphor from shooting pool.

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


Related Terms

forked-eight, forty-eight

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 eights
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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