[awr-dn-uh l] /ˈɔr dn əl/

of or relating to an order, as of animals or plants.
of or relating to order, rank, or position in a series.
an or numeral.
denoting a certain position in a sequence of numbers
of, relating to, or characteristic of an order in biological classification
short for ordinal number
a book containing the forms of services for the ordination of ministers
(RC Church) a service book

early 14c., “book setting forth the order of services in the Church,” from Late Latin adjective ordinalis (see ordinal (adj.)).

late 14c., “regular, ordinary,” from Old French ordinel and directly from Late Latin ordinalis “”showing order, denoting an order of succession,” from Latin ordo (genitive ordinis) “row, series” (see order (n.)). Meaning “marking position in an order or series” is from 1590s.


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  • Ordinal-number

    noun 1. Also called ordinal numeral. any of the numbers that express degree, quality, or position in a series, as first, second, and third (distinguished from ). 2. Mathematics. a symbol denoting both the cardinal number and the ordering of a given set, being identical for two ordered sets having elements that can be placed […]

  • Ordinal scale

    noun 1. (statistics) a scale on which data is shown simply in order of magnitude since there is no standard of measurement of differences: for instance, a squash ladder is an ordinal scale since one can say only that one person is better than another, but not by how much Compare interval scale, ratio scale, […]

  • Ordinance

    [awr-dn-uh ns] /ˈɔr dn əns/ noun 1. an authoritative rule or law; a decree or command. 2. a public injunction or regulation: a city ordinance against excessive horn blowing. 3. something believed to have been ordained, as by a deity or destiny. 4. Ecclesiastical. /ˈɔːdɪnəns/ noun 1. an authoritative regulation, decree, law, or practice n. […]

  • Ordinand

    [awr-dn-and] /ˈɔr dnˌænd/ noun 1. Ecclesiastical. a candidate for ordination. /ˈɔːdɪˌnænd/ noun 1. (Christianity) a candidate for ordination

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