Definition of fourth in English:

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Pronunciation: /fɔːθ/

ordinal number

1Constituting number four in a sequence; 4th: the fourth and fifth centuries there were three bedrooms, with potential for a fourth
More example sentences
  • A left hook ends it one minute, four seconds into the fourth round.
  • The team's fourth management team in four years is now in place.
  • They also brought the fourth official from four hours away from somewhere in Co. Clare, and a linesman from Laois.
1.1The fourth finisher or position in a race or competition: he could do no better than finish fourth
More example sentences
  • They will then be preparing for the playoffs where their fourth place league finish will ensure a home draw in the first round.
  • Nevertheless, the warriors got back on their feet and raced to a fourth place team finish in the 5km classic event.
  • It used to feature teams that finished between second and fourth place in most nations and was a top-notch competition.
1.2The fourth (and often highest) in a sequence of a vehicle’s gears: he took the corner in fourth
More example sentences
  • It's understood he entered what should have been a fourth - gear corner flat-out in sixth.
  • At the other end of the scale, it will potter around town all day in fourth with the tacho needle barely hovering above 1,000 rpm.
  • Silverstone's high-speed third and fourth gear corners stress the engine in a slightly unusual way.
1.3chiefly British The fourth form of a school or college.
Example sentences
  • I think I was in fourth or fifth form at St. George's College when they became popular out here.
  • It's a lovely place for a holiday, and the girls in the fourth form are such a lively bunch this year.
  • I suspect that she dropped science in the fourth form, like me.
1.4Fourthly (used to introduce a fourth point): third, visit popular attractions during lunch; fourth, stay late
More example sentences
  • And fourth, the frightening violence of revolution is also ridiculed as a feminine loss of self-control.
  • And fourth, you have to have an audience that has an appetite for what you are trying to do.
  • It focuses on the key variables offered by the traditional model as components of household financial distress: first, high levels of household indebtedness; second, unemployment and downsizing; third, divorce; and fourth, health problems, health care costs, and lack of health insurance.
1.5 Music An interval spanning four consecutive notes in a diatonic scale, in particular (also perfect fourth) an interval of two tones and a semitone (e.g. C to F).
Example sentences
  • Both the melody and harmony share the same pentatonic scalar basis, and the intervals of perfect fourths and major seconds derived from the pentatonic scale are frequently used both linearly and vertically in all eight variations.
  • Practicing fourths and consecutive sevenths challenges the ear in ways that sixths and thirds don't, in addition to enhancing hand stability.
  • At the very end of the piece, in a very contemporary strategy, the perfect fourth yields to a tritone, C-#, thereby obscuring an unambiguous closure in an enriched tonality of D major.
1.6 Music The note which is higher by a fourth than the tonic of a diatonic scale or root of a chord.
Example sentences
  • The crisp phrases of the robust seventeen-bar ground, with its harmonically stable fourths and fifths and harmonious consort of bass and triadic chords, clearly assert the traditional lineaments of the form.
  • The noble falling fourths, echoed by the piano, re-establish the tonic key unambiguously.
  • Also, descending fourths appear in the accompaniment of the melody more than once.
2chiefly North American A quarter: nearly three fourths of that money is now gone
More example sentences
  • You've seen some very impressive growth figures in the fourth quarter last year.
  • They had barely gotten three fourths around the first quarter and she looked exhausted.
  • The game continued and when it came to the fourth quarter everyone felt that Emily actually had a chance at winning the game.



the fourth estate

The press; the profession of journalism: she is reticent when it comes to members of the fourth estate
Originally used humorously in various contexts; its first usage with reference to the press has been attributed to Edmund Burke but this remains unconfirmed
More example sentences
  • The fourth estate conducted press conferences as though suffering aphasia.
  • The company has few friends left in the Irish fourth estate after herding journalists around its new European headquarters in Dublin last week.
  • Such tactics undermine the print media's history of quality journalism and the notion of the media as the fourth estate of democracy.

the fourth wall

The space which separates a performer or performance from an audience.
Example sentences
  • There was literally no the fourth wall in the space where they performed the play.
  • Our play interacted with the audience, eliminating the fourth wall.
  • The experience is intentionally theatrical, a reminder of the existence of the fourth wall.
2.1The conceptual barrier between any fictional work and its viewers or readers: he breaks the fourth wall by having Sam refer to the script and the play he’s acting in
More example sentences
  • Within the first ten seconds of the debut episode of Hustle, the character gives a knowing smirk directly into the fourth wall.
  • Willis grinned his way through every episode, often breaking the fourth wall with sarcastic comments for the audience at home.
  • For instance, comedians didn't seem to mind breaking the fourth wall by talking straight to the audience.
Originally used of the proscenium opening in a theatre through which the audience sees the action of a play

Words that rhyme with fourth

forth, henceforth, north, thenceforth

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fourth

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