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[fawr-tee-ith] /ˈfɔr ti ɪθ/
next after the thirty-ninth; being the ordinal number for 40.
being one of 40 equal parts.
a fortieth part, especially of one (1/40).
the fortieth member of a series.
Origin of fortieth
before 1100; Middle English fourtithe, Old English fēowertigotha. See forty, -eth2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fortieth
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At fortieth Street he looked down to the middle of the block.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Dryden and Scott were not known as authors until each was in his fortieth year.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • I told him the fortieth, and that I had been one of the forlorn hope.

  • His children are pensioned into the third and fourth and fortieth generation.

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
  • To be exact he did not go the length of the block between Thirty-ninth and fortieth.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb
  • But these fellows of the fortieth were not so easily fooled.

    Under Fire Charles King
  • The fortieth brought me to a doorway, through which I turned.

    The Romance of Golden Star ...

    George Chetwynd Griffith
  • It was not until about his fortieth year that he found his true direction.

British Dictionary definitions for fortieth


  1. being the ordinal number of forty in numbering or counting order, position, time, etc. Often written: 40th
  2. (as noun): he was the fortieth
  1. one of 40 approximately equal parts of something
  2. (as modifier): a fortieth part
the fraction equal to one divided by 40 (1/40)
Word Origin
Old English fēowertigotha
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 fortieth

Old English feowertigoða, from feowertig (see forty) + -th (1). Cf. Old Norse fertugonde, Swedish fyrationde, Danish fyrretyvende.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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