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# ordinal number

noun
1.
Also called ordinal numeral. any of the numbers that express degree, quality, or position in a series, as first, second, and third (distinguished from cardinal number).
2.
Mathematics. a symbol denoting both the cardinal number and the ordering of a given set, being identical for two ordered sets having elements that can be placed into one-to-one correspondence, the correspondence preserving the order of the elements.
Origin of ordinal number
1600-1610
First recorded in 1600-10
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ordinal numbers
Historical Examples
• A full stop is placed after most abbreviations, after initial letters, and after ordinal numbers in Roman characters.

Paul Allardyce
• Being adjectives, the ordinal numbers take the plural j and accusative n when necessary.

Helen Fryer
• Others give lists of the cardinal and ordinal numbers in French, and one adds to these a nomenclature of the different colours.

• Also in addition to the cardinal numbers there are the ordinal numbers: the fifth apple and the tenth pear claim thought.

• The ordinal numbers should have no adverbial form: "firstly," "secondly," and the rest are words without meaning.

Ambrose Bierce
• ordinal numbers compounded with nouns take the hyphen in such expressions as second-hand, first-rate, and the like.

Frederick W. Hamilton
• In computing time, ordinal numbers are reckoned the same as cardinal numbers.

John E. Remsburg
• The present chapter shows that they are certainly found in some, and possibly in all of the ordinal numbers.

Robert Gordon Latham
• The affected use of cardinal, instead of ordinal numbers, ought not to be imitated.

Samuel Kirkham
• The definition is effected by means of the system of ordinal numbers (see Number).

British Dictionary definitions for ordinal numbers

## ordinal number

noun
1.
a number denoting relative position in a sequence, such as first, second, third Sometimes shortened to ordinal
2.
(logic, maths) a measure of not only the size of a set but also the order of its elements
Compare cardinal number
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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ordinal numbers in Science
 ordinal number   (ôr'dn-əl)    A number, such as 3rd, 11th, or 412th, used in counting to indicate position in a series but not quantity. Compare cardinal number.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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ordinal numbers in Culture

### ordinal numbers definition

Numbers that indicate the order or position of something in a group or set, such as first, second, or fifteenth. (Compare cardinal numbers.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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### Difficulty index for ordinal number

Few English speakers likely know this word

### Word Value for ordinal

8
10
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