noun, plural twen·ties.
- twelvepenny nail,
- twentieth amendment,
- twenty questions,
- twenty thousand leagues under the sea,
Origin of twenty
noun plural -ties
- amounting to twentytwenty questions
- (as pronoun)to order twenty
Word Origin for twenty
Old English twentig "group of twenty," from twegen "two" (see two) + -tig "group of ten" (see -ty (1)). Cognate with Old Frisian twintich, Dutch twintig, Old High German zweinzug, German zwanzig. Gothic twai tigjus is even more transparent: literally "two tens."
The card game twenty-one (1790) is from French vingt-et-un (1781). Twenty-twenty hindsight is first recorded 1962, a figurative use of the Snellen fraction for normal visual acuity, expressed in feet. The guessing game of twenty questions is recorded from 1786. The Twentieth Century Limited was an express train from New York to Chicago 1902-1967.