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[fahyvz] /faɪvz/

noun, (used with a singular verb) British.
a game resembling handball, played on a court having a front wall and two side walls.
[fahyv] /faɪv/
a cardinal number, four plus one.
a symbol for this number, as 5 or V.
a set of this many persons or things.
a playing card, die face, or half of a domino face with five pips.
Informal. a five-dollar bill:
Can you give me two fives for a ten?
amounting to five in number.
take five, Informal. to take a brief respite.
(functioning as sing) a ball game similar to squash but played with bats or the hands
the cardinal number that is the sum of four and one
a numeral, 5, V, etc, representing this number
the amount or quantity that is one greater than four
something representing, represented by, or consisting of five units, such as a playing card with five symbols on it


Old English fif, from Proto-Germanic *fimfe (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon fif, Dutch vijf, Old Norse fimm, Old High German funf, Gothic fimf), from PIE *penkwe- (cf. Sanskrit panca, Greek pente, Latin quinque, Old Church Slavonic peti, Lithuanian penke, Old Welsh pimp). The sound shift that removed the *-m- is a regular development involving Old English, Old Frisian, and Old Saxon (cf. thought, from stem of think; couth from *kunthaz; us from *uns.

Slang five-finger discount “theft” is from 1966. Five o’clock shadow attested by 1937. The original five-year plan was 1928 in the U.S.S.R.

Related Terms

bunch of fives


The hand; the five fingers (1950s+ Jive talk)

Related Terms

give someone five, hang five, nine-to-five, slip (or give) me five, take five
see: take five


Read Also:

  • Five-second rule

    noun in basketball, a rule that a closely-guarded player cannot hold the ball for more than five seconds without dribbling, passing, or shooting noun phrase The belief that if one picks up a dropped food item very quickly, it is safe to eat: five-second rule in the cafeteria

  • Five-senses

    plural noun 1. the senses or faculties of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, by which humans and animals perceive stimuli originating from outside or inside the body.

  • Five-speed

    [fahyv-speed] /ˈfaɪvˌspid/ noun 1. (in an automotive vehicle or bicycle) a transmission or system of gears having five forward gear ratios. 2. an automotive vehicle or bicycle having such a transmission or system of gears. adjective 3. having five forward gear ratios.

  • Five-spice powder

    [fahyv-spahys] /ˈfaɪvˌspaɪs/ noun 1. a mixture of spices used especially in Chinese cooking, usually including cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, pepper, and star anise.

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