1. a cardinal number, seven plus one.
  2. a symbol for this number, as 8 or VIII.
  3. a set of this many persons or things, as the crew of an eight-oared racing shell.
  4. a playing card the face of which bears eight pips.
  5. Informal.
    1. an automobile powered by an eight-cylinder engine.
    2. an eight-cylinder engine.
  1. 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 confusedate eight
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for eighter

octave, octad, octet, octagon, octagonal, octennial

Examples from the Web for eighter

Historical Examples of eighter

British Dictionary definitions for eighter


  1. the cardinal number that is the sum of one and seven and the product of two and fourSee also number (def. 1)
  2. a numeral, 8, VIII, etc, representing this number
  3. music the numeral 8 used as the lower figure in a time signature to indicate that the beat is measured in quavers
  4. the amount or quantity that is one greater than seven
  5. something representing, represented by, or consisting of eight units, such as a playing card with eight symbols on it
  6. rowing
    1. a racing shell propelled by eight oarsmen
    2. the crew of such a shell
  7. Also called: eight o'clock eight hours after noon or midnight
  8. have one over the eight slang to be drunk
  9. See figure of eight
    1. amounting to eight
    2. (as pronoun)I could only find eight
Related formsRelated prefixes: octa-, octo-

Word Origin for eight

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

Word Origin and History for eighter



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

Idioms and Phrases with eighter


see behind the eight ball.

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