Definition of eleven in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈlevən/

cardinal number

1Equivalent to the sum of six and five; one more than ten; 11: the room was about eleven feet wide eighteen schools were founded, eleven of them in Los Angeles (Roman numeral: xi or XI)
More example sentences
  • And the witness had said five foot eleven inches, I think.
  • Dad wasn't especially tall, five feet eleven inches or so.
  • But if he falls or fails to sparkle on the big day then eleven year old Doran's Pride won't be too far away if he stays sound between now and then.
1.1Eleven years old: the eldest is only eleven
More example sentences
  • My eldest is eleven; there's no way she'd get past the first night.
  • One third of children between the ages of nine and eleven in Waterford and the rest of the South East are overweight and as many as eight per cent are clinically obese.
  • At the age of eleven, Wendy Lesser first read Don Quixote.
1.2Eleven o’clock: she often worked until eleven at night
More example sentences
  • He spent three days working from seven in the morning until eleven at night on his masterpiece.
  • Sure enough, someone had been online last night between nine until eleven, and this morning from eight to nine.
  • Also, people usually watch television from about eight in the morning until eleven at night.
1.3A size of garment or other merchandise denoted by eleven.
Example sentences
  • I followed Nick to a department store about a week ago, where I saw him buy a pair of brown boots, size eleven.
  • I cussed, as one size eleven shoe hit the ground.
1.4A group or unit of eleven people or things.
Example sentences
  • Five of the eleven have still not received votes.
  • Then the eleven of them stood together in their battle gear, and Godwin raised his cup, and the ten pledged thegns raised theirs, and so they saluted each other, and drank.
  • The other eleven simply looked at him, stunned into inaction.
1.5A sports team of eleven players.
Example sentences
  • The playing elevens for the decider described by former Indian Test player Navjot Sidhu as ‘too close to call’ will be named just before the toss today.
  • Yeadon Cricket Club are in deep trouble unable to field two full elevens as the Bradford League season gets underway.
  • Chelsea often starts a match with no British-born player in the eleven.


up to eleven

informal So as to reach or surpass the maximum level; to an extreme or intense degree: turn the volume up to eleven I like my art cranked up to eleven
1984: coined in the film comedy This is Spinal Tap, with reference to a rock guitarist whose amplifier's volume control goes up to eleven rather than the usual ten
More example sentences
  • He only really had one character - himself turned up to eleven.
  • Slip the disc into your player and turn the volume up to eleven.
  • Every plot is turned up to eleven, as it were.



Pronunciation: /-ˌfōld/
adjective& adverb
Example sentences
  • Unsecured consumer credit in the UK has increased elevenfold since then.
  • The annual fees charged by fund companies have barely budged, even though assets have increased elevenfold since 1989, to more than $6 trillion.
  • I noticed upon the door, now in the steady, milky-white moonlight, a queer elevenfold cross engraved with the same metal as the doorknob, upon the upper-middle.


Old English endleofon, from the base of one + a second element (probably expressing the sense 'left over') occurring also in twelve; of Germanic origin and related to Dutch and German elf.

  • elf from Old English:

    An Old English word related to German Alp ‘nightmare’. Elves were formerly thought of as more frightening than they are now: dwarfish beings that produced diseases, caused nightmares, and stole children, substituting changelings in their place. Later they became more like fairies, dainty and unpredictable, and in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973) they are noble and beautiful. Originally an elf was specifically a male being, the female being an elven: Tolkien revived elven and used it to mean ‘relating to elves’. Elfin, meaning ‘relating to elves’ and also used to describe a small, delicate person with a mischievous charm, was first used by Edmund Spenser in The Faerie Queene (1590–96). See also oaf

Words that rhyme with eleven

Bevan, Devon, Evan, heaven, leaven, Pleven, seven, Severn

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: e·lev·en

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