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eleven

[ih-lev-uh n]
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noun
  1. a cardinal number, ten plus one.
  2. a symbol for this number, as 11 or XI.
  3. a set of this many persons or things, as a football team.
adjective
  1. amounting to eleven in number.

Origin of eleven

before 900; Middle English elleven(e), Old English ellefne, endleofan; cognate with Old High German einlif (German elf), Old Norse ellifu, Gothic ainlib-, literally, one remaining (after counting 10). See one, leave1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for eleven

eleven

noun
  1. the cardinal number that is the sum of ten and one
  2. a numeral 11, XI, etc, representing this number
  3. something representing, represented by, or consisting of 11 units
  4. (functioning as singular or plural) a team of 11 players in football, cricket, hockey, etc
  5. Also called: eleven o'clock eleven hours after noon or midnight
determiner
    1. amounting to eleveneleven chances
    2. (as pronoun)have another eleven today

Word Origin

Old English endleofan; related to Old Norse ellefo, Gothic ainlif, Old Frisian andlova, Old High German einlif
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

Word Origin and History for eleven

n.

c.1200, elleovene, from Old English endleofan, literally "one left" (over ten), from Proto-Germanic *ainlif- (cf. Old Saxon elleban, Old Frisian andlova, Dutch elf, Old High German einlif, German elf, Old Norse ellifu, Gothic ainlif), a compound of *ain "one" (see one) + PIE *leikw- "leave, remain" (cf. Greek leipein "to leave behind;" see relinquish).

FIREFLY: Give me a number from 1 to 10.
CHICOLINI: eleven!
FIREFLY: Right!

Viking survivors who escaped an Anglo-Saxon victory were daroþa laf "the leavings of spears," while hamora laf "the leavings of hammers" was an Old English kenning for "swords" (both from "The Battle of Brunanburgh"). Twelve reflects the same formation. Outside Germanic the only instance of this formation is in Lithuanian, which uses -lika "left over" and continues the series to 19 (vienio-lika "eleven," dvy-lika "twelve," try-lika "thirteen," keturio-lika "fourteen," etc.) Phrase eleventh hour (1829) is from Matthew xx:1-16.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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