noun, plural for·ties.
- fortune hunter,
- forty hours,
- forty winks,
Origin of forty
Examples from the Web for forty
Forty minutes later he says, ‘I think she may have chest injuries now.’Harry’s Daddy, and Diana’s ‘Murder’: Royal Rumors In a New Play|Tom Sykes|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
I was already over forty, had hardly a nickel in my pocket and this was the biggest break in my life.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile|Robert Ward|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Almost forty years later, it seems unlikely this will ever be the case.Juiciest ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Rumors (and Some Debunked Ones)|Rich Goldstein|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
We were on it for forty minutes of the film, a considerable part of our schedule.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days|David Freeman|December 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It made sense with so many suspects at hand, less so with the tower entrance separated from them by a forty foot wall.
And there is the cave under the rock where Moses dwelt, when he fasted forty days and forty nights.The Travels of Sir John Mandeville|John Mandeville
The position was an awkward one, and Winthrope weighed thirty or forty pounds more than Miss Leslie.Into the Primitive|Robert Ames Bennet
At the end of the year the Russians were still besieging Przemysl, and their right was within forty miles of Cracow.The Childrens' Story of the War, Volume 3 (of 10)|James Edward Parrott
His childhood and his youth may be considered from his birth till forty years of age.The Digger Movement in the Days of the Commonwealth|Lewis H. Berens
To accomplish this stroke it was necessary to travel forty leagues along the sea coast.The Great Company|Beckles Willson
noun plural -ties
- amounting to fortyforty thieves
- (as pronoun)there were forty in the herd
Word Origin for forty
Old English feowertig, from feower "four" (see four) + tig "group of ten" (see -ty (1)). Cf. Old Saxon fiwartig, Old Frisian fiuwertich, Dutch veertig, Old High German fiorzug, German vierzig, Old Norse fjorir tigir, Gothic fidwor tigjus.
[T]he number 40 must have been used very frequently by Mesha's scribe as a round number. It is probably often used in that way in the Bible where it is remarkably frequent, esp. in reference to periods of days or years. ... How it came to be so used is not quite certain, but it may have originated, partly at any rate, in the idea that 40 years constituted a generation or the period at the end of which a man attains maturity, an idea common, it would seem, to the Greeks, the Israelites, and the Arabs. ["The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia," James Orr, ed., Chicago, 1915]
Forty winks "short sleep" is attested from 1821, In early use associated with, and perhaps coined by, eccentric English lifestyle reformer William Kitchiner M.D. (1775-1827).