• synonyms


[awr-dn-uh l]
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  1. of or relating to an order, as of animals or plants.
  2. of or relating to order, rank, or position in a series.
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  1. an ordinal number or numeral.
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Origin of ordinal1

1590–1600; < Late Latin ōrdinālis in order equivalent to Latin ōrdin- (stem of ōrdō) order + -ālis -al1
Related formsor·di·nal·ly, adverb


[awr-dn-uh l]
  1. a directory of ecclesiastical services.
  2. a book containing the forms for the ordination of priests, consecration of bishops, etc.
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Origin of ordinal2

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin ōrdināle, noun use of neuter of ōrdinālis in order. See ordinal1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for ordinal

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for ordinal


  1. denoting a certain position in a sequence of numbers
  2. of, relating to, or characteristic of an order in biological classification
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  1. short for ordinal number
  2. a book containing the forms of services for the ordination of ministers
  3. RC Church a service book
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Word Origin

C14: (in the sense: orderly): from Late Latin ordinalis denoting order or place in a series, from Latin ordō order
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 ordinal


early 14c., "book setting forth the order of services in the Church," from Late Latin adjective ordinalis (see ordinal (adj.)).

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late 14c., "regular, ordinary," from Old French ordinel and directly from Late Latin ordinalis ""showing order, denoting an order of succession," from Latin ordo (genitive ordinis) "row, series" (see order (n.)). Meaning "marking position in an order or series" is from 1590s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper