• synonyms


[awr-dn-uh l]
  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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ordinally

Historical Examples

  • The relation-number of a relation is the class whose members are all those relations which are ordinally similar to it.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 17, Slice 7


  • Also, two relations need not be serial in order to be ordinally similar; but if one is serial, so is the other.

  • These animals are at least ordinally distinct from us in those grades of groups in which naturalists arrange animals.

British Dictionary definitions for ordinally


  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 ordinally



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper