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[thur-tee] /ˈθɜr ti/
noun, plural thirties.
a cardinal number, 10 times 3.
a symbol for this number, as 30 or XXX.
a set of this many persons or things.
Printing, Journalism. 30-dash.
thirties, the numbers, years, degrees, or the like, from 30 through 39, as in referring to numbered streets, indicating the years of a lifetime or of a century, or referring to degrees of temperature:
He works in the East Thirties. She must be in her thirties. The temperature was in the thirties yesterday.
amounting to 30 in number.
Origin of thirty
before 900; Middle English thritty, Old English thrītig, equivalent to thrī three + -tig -ty1; cognate with Dutch dertig, German dreissig, Old Norse thrjātīu Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for thirties
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Oh, sure, we were in our thirties, but who would have suspected that?

    The Man the Martians Made Frank Belknap Long
  • These may be of any age from eighty odd to the bitter thirties.

    Another Sheaf John Galsworthy
  • He was much younger than middle-aged, really—somewhere in his thirties.

    Ten From Infinity Paul W. Fairman
  • A tall, fair man still in his thirties, had stopped and raised his hat.

    The Mask

    Arthur Hornblow
  • This was frontier when we came here in the thirties; we belong here.

    Winning the Wilderness Margaret Hill McCarter
British Dictionary definitions for thirties


noun (pl) -ties
the cardinal number that is the product of ten and three See also number (sense 1)
a numeral, 30, XXX, etc, representing this number
(pl) the numbers 30–39, esp the 30th to the 39th year of a person's life or of a century
the amount or quantity that is three times as big as ten
something representing, represented by, or consisting of 30 units
  1. amounting to thirty: thirty trees
  2. (as pronoun): thirty are broken
Word Origin
Old English thrītig; see three, -ty1
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 thirties

1827 as the years of someone's life between 30 and 39; 1830 as a decade of years in a given century. See thirty.


early 15c. metathesis of Old English þritig, from þri, þreo "three" + -tig "group of ten" (see -ty (1)). Cf. Old Frisian thritich, Old Saxon thritig, Dutch dertig, Old High German drizzug, German dreissig. Thirty Years' War (1842) was a religious power struggle waged 1618-48, mainly on German soil. The symbol -30- as printer and telegrapher's code to indicate the last sheet or line of copy or a dispatch is recorded from 1895. In 20c. jargon of journalism, it came to be a traditional sign-off signal and slang word for "the end."

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


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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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