Nineties



[nahyn-tee] /ˈnaɪn ti/

noun, plural nineties.
1.
a cardinal number, ten times nine.
2.
a symbol for this number, as 90 or XC.
3.
a set of this many persons or things.
4.
nineties, the numbers, years, degrees, or the like, from 90 through 99, as in referring to numbered streets, indicating the years of a lifetime or of a century, or degrees of temperature:
His grandmother is in her nineties.
adjective
5.
amounting to 90 in number.
/ˈnaɪntɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
the cardinal number that is the product of ten and nine See also number (sense 1)
2.
a numeral, 90, XC, etc, representing this number
3.
something represented by, representing, or consisting of 90 units
determiner
4.

n.

1857 as the years of someone’s life between 90 and 99; 1848 as a decade of years in a given century; 1849 with reference to Fahrenheit temperature. See ninety.

Many still live who remember those days; if the old men cannot tell you the exact date, they will say: ‘It were in the nineties;’ (etc.) [“Chambers’s Journal,” Nov. 1, 1856]

In Britain, the naughty nineties was a popular name 1920s-30s for the 1890s, based on the notion of a relaxing of morality and mood in contrast to earlier Victorian times. In U.S., gay nineties in reference to the same decade is attested from 1927, and was the title of a regular nostalgia feature in “Life” magazine about that time.

The long, dreary blue-law Sunday afternoons were periods of the Nineties which no amount of rosy retrospect will ever be able to recall as gay, especially to a normal healthy boy to whom all activities were taboo except G. A. Henty and the bound volumes of Leslie’s Weekly of the Civil War. [Life, Sept. 1, 1927]

n.

Old English nigontig, from nine + -tig “group of ten” (see -ty (1)). Cognate with Old Frisian niontich, Middle Dutch negentich, Dutch negentig, German neunzig.

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