[fifth or, often, fith]
See more synonyms for fifth on
  1. next after the fourth; being the ordinal number for five.
  2. being one of five equal parts.
  3. Automotive. of, relating to, or operating at the gear transmission ratio at which the drive shaft speed is greater than that of fourth gear for a given engine crankshaft speed: fifth gear.
  1. in the fifth place; fifthly.
  1. a fifth part, especially of one (1/5).
  2. the fifth member of a series.
  3. a fifth part of a gallon of liquor or spirits; 4/5 (0.8) of a quart (about 750 milliliters).
  4. Automotive. fifth gear.
  5. Music.
    1. a tone on the fifth degree from another tone (counted as the first).
    2. the interval between such tones.
    3. the harmonic combination of such tones.
  1. take the Fifth, Informal. to decline on the basis of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to answer a question when testifying.

Origin of fifth

before 1000; earlier fift, Middle English fifte, Old English fīfta; -th by analogy with fourth, etc. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for fifth

quinary, quinquennial, quintan

Examples from the Web for fifth

Contemporary Examples of fifth

Historical Examples of fifth

  • It is true there was a fifth farm situated right in between the others.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • On the fourth and fifth days, however, he had the reward for his caution.

  • As she had two protectors against a fifth proposal of marriage, she stood her ground.


    William J. Locke

  • I cannot decide which way to turn to reach Fifth Avenue again.

  • His steeds are not "faultless monsters" like the Dauphin's palfrey in Henry the Fifth.

British Dictionary definitions for fifth


adjective (usually prenominal)
    1. coming after the fourth in order, position, time, etc. Often written: 5th
    2. (as noun)he came on the fifth
    1. one of five equal or nearly equal parts of an object, quantity, measurement, etc
    2. (as modifier)a fifth part
  1. the fraction equal to one divided by five (1/5)
  2. music
    1. the interval between one note and another five notes away from it counting inclusively along the diatonic scale
    2. one of two notes constituting such an interval in relation to the otherSee also perfect (def. 9), diminished (def. 2), interval (def. 5)
  3. an additional high gear fitted to some motor vehicles
  1. Also: fifthly after the fourth person, position, event, etc
sentence connector
  1. Also: fifthly as the fifth point: linking what follows with the previous statements, as in a speech or argument

Word Origin for fifth

Old English fīfta
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 fifth

c.1200, fift, from Old English fifta, from fif "five" (see five) + -ta (see -th (1)). Altered 14c. by influence of fourth. Cf. Old Frisian fifta, Old Saxon fifto, Old Norse fimmti, Dutch vijfde, Old High German fimfto, German fünfte, Gothic fimfta.

Noun meaning "fifth part of a gallon of liquor" is first recorded 1938, American English. Fifth Avenue (in New York City) has been used figuratively for "elegance, taste" since at least 1858. Fifth wheel "superfluous person or thing" first attested 1902. Fifth-monarchy-man, 17c. for "anrachist zealot," is a reference to Dan. ii:44.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fifth in Medicine


  1. Coming after fourth, as in order, rank, or time.
  2. Being the outermost digit, as on a hand.
Related formsfifth n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with fifth


In addition to the idioms beginning with fifth

  • fifth column
  • fifth wheel

also see:

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