Forties



[fawr-tee] /ˈfɔr ti/

noun, plural forties.
1.
a cardinal number, ten times four.
2.
a symbol for this number, as 40 or XL or XXXX.
3.
a set of this many persons or things.
4.
forties, the numbers, years, degrees, or the like, from 40 through 49, as in referring to numbered streets, indicating the years of a lifetime or of a century, or degrees of temperature:
His office is in the West Forties. Her parents are in their forties. The temperature will be in the forties.
adjective
5.
amounting to 40 in number.
/ˈfɔːtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
the cardinal number that is the product of ten and four See also number (sense 1)
2.
a numeral, 40, XL, etc, representing this number
3.
something representing, represented by, or consisting of 40 units
determiner
4.

n.

1843 as the years of someone’s life between 40 and 49; 1840 as a decade of years in a given century. See forty. Also a designation applied in various places and times to certain oligarchies, ruling classes, or governing bodies.

It is well known that society in the island [Guernsey] is, or perhaps we ought to say, for many years was, divided into two sets, called respectively the Sixties and the Forties, the former composed of the old families and those allied to them, the latter of families of newly-acquired wealth and position. [“The Dublin Review,” October 1877]

Roaring Forties are rough parts of the ocean between 40 and 50 degrees latitude.

n.

Old English feowertig, from feower “four” (see four) + tig “group of ten” (see -ty (1)). Cf. Old Saxon fiwartig, Old Frisian fiuwertich, Dutch veertig, Old High German fiorzug, German vierzig, Old Norse fjorir tigir, Gothic fidwor tigjus.

[T]he number 40 must have been used very frequently by Mesha’s scribe as a round number. It is probably often used in that way in the Bible where it is remarkably frequent, esp. in reference to periods of days or years. … How it came to be so used is not quite certain, but it may have originated, partly at any rate, in the idea that 40 years constituted a generation or the period at the end of which a man attains maturity, an idea common, it would seem, to the Greeks, the Israelites, and the Arabs. [“The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia,” James Orr, ed., Chicago, 1915]

Forty winks “short sleep” is attested from 1821, In early use associated with, and perhaps coined by, eccentric English lifestyle reformer William Kitchiner M.D. (1775-1827).

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    [fawr-tee-ith] /ˈfɔr ti ɪθ/ adjective 1. next after the thirty-ninth; being the ordinal number for 40. 2. being one of 40 equal parts. noun 3. a fortieth part, especially of one (1/40). 4. the fortieth member of a series. /ˈfɔːtɪɪθ/ adjective 1. noun 2. 3. the fraction equal to one divided by 40 (1/40) adj. […]

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