[ twelv ]
/ twɛlv /


a cardinal number, 10 plus 2.
a symbol for this number, as 12 or XII.
a set of this many persons or things.
the Twelve, the 12 apostles chosen by Christ.


amounting to 12 in number.

Origin of twelve

before 900; Middle English twelve, inflected form of twelf, Old English twelfe literally, (ten and) two leave, i.e., two left over; cognate with Old Frisian twelef, twelf, Old High German zwelif, Old Norse tōlf, Gothic twalif; compare Lithuanian dvýlika; see two, leave1, eleven Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for twelve

British Dictionary definitions for twelve

/ (twɛlv) /


the cardinal number that is the sum of ten and twoSee also number (def. 1)
a numeral, 12, XII, etc, representing this number
something represented by, representing, or consisting of 12 units
Also called: twelve o'clock noon or midnight


  1. amounting to twelvetwelve loaves
  2. (as pronoun)twelve have arrived See also dozen Related adjective: duodecimal Related prefix: dodeca-

Word Origin for twelve

Old English twelf; related to Old Frisian twelif, Old High German zwelif, Old Norse tolf, Gothic twalif
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