twelve

[twelv]

noun

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.

adjective

amounting to 12 in number.

Nearby words

  1. twelfth day,
  2. twelfth man,
  3. twelfth night,
  4. twelfth-year molar,
  5. twelfthtide,
  6. twelve patriarchs,
  7. twelve pitch,
  8. twelve step,
  9. twelve tables,
  10. twelve-inch

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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for twelve


British Dictionary definitions for twelve

twelve

noun

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

determiner

  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

Word Origin and History for twelve

twelve

Old English twelf, literally "two left" (over ten), from Proto-Germanic *twa-lif-, a compound of the root of two + *lif-, root of the verb leave (see eleven). Cf. Old Saxon twelif, Old Norse tolf, Old Frisian twelef, Middle Dutch twalef, Dutch twaalf, Old High German zwelif, German zwölf, Gothic twalif. Outside Germanic, an analogous formation is Lithuanian dvylika, with second element -lika "left over."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper