Definition of third in English:

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Pronunciation: /THərd/

ordinal number

1Constituting number three in a sequence; 3rd: the third century the third of October Edward the Third
More example sentences
  • I can't wait to see what he does with the inevitable third film in the sequence.
  • The third article in this sequence will get involved with more peripheral points regarding general opening strategy.
  • What kind of training and preparation did you do for the sequences in the third film?
1.1 (a third/one third) Each of three equal parts into which something is or may be divided: a third of a mile
More example sentences
  • Pregnancy is often divided into trimesters or thirds.
  • The districts were ranked ordered according to size and then divided into thirds.
  • The garden stretches for two thirds of a mile at its longest point and is around one third of a mile wide.
1.2The third finisher or position in a race or competition: Hill finished third
More example sentences
  • Steven finished the second race third and accompanied his teammate onto the podium.
  • The pair were eighth in the first race and finished third in race two.
  • It is only a few years since Croatia shook the football world by finishing third in the World Cup in France.
1.3The third in a sequence of a vehicle’s gears: he took the corner in third
More example sentences
  • Today I made a small mistake when I selected fourth gear instead of third on a corner.
  • I shifted down to third, then second gear, wondering what would happen if I had to stop.
  • Fifth gear, fourth, third - a good car will make it with a little to spare.
1.4 Baseball Third base.
Example sentences
  • The runners on second and third held their base for the purpose of tagging up and advancing.
  • He makes them a more dynamic team, with his ability to steal bases and go from first to third on base hits.
  • He was sent to third but missed second base en route and was called out on appeal.
1.5The third grade of a school.
Example sentences
  • When you're a third grade kid with a bad case of hero worship, you don't see beyond the hero himself.
  • In third grade, we had a debate over whether Mondale or Reagan should be President.
  • The first time my Dad took me along I was in the third grade and the salmon was the same size as me.
1.6Thirdly (used to introduce a third point or reason): second, they are lightly regulated; and third, they do business with nonresident clients
1.7 Music An interval spanning three consecutive notes in a diatonic scale, e.g., C to E ( major third, equal to two tones) or A to C ( minor third, equal to a tone and a semitone).
Example sentences
  • Musically, he used three or four short notes followed by upward-reaching intervals, usually minor thirds or fourths.
  • The second symphony, formally cast in two large movements, plays with two initial motifs, a falling major third with a scalar rise back to the initial note and an insistent rhythm on one note.
  • The first movement explores the melodic and structural implications of the minor third, much like the first movement of Adams's violin concerto.
1.8 Music The note which is higher by a third than the tonic of a diatonic scale or root of a chord.
Example sentences
  • Most of us are so used to the full-voiced chords, it is actually tricky to play the thirds and fourths in the right hand and single notes in the left.
  • Several selections contain strings of double notes, primarily thirds and sixths.
  • If she couldn't play thirds quick enough, he told her to use less pressure.
1.9British A place in the third-highest grade in an examination, especially that for a degree.


third time is a charm (or British third time lucky)

Used to express the hope that, after twice failing to accomplish something, one may succeed in the third attempt.
Example sentences
  • They will be hoping to make it third time lucky against Oulton having already lost to them twice this season, away in the league and at home in the Challenge Cup.
  • The Knights will be hoping it's third time lucky against Doncaster next Sunday having already played them twice this season.
  • A leading York Liberal Democrat is hoping to make it third time lucky and become the city's MP at the next general election.


Old English thridda, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch derde and German dritte, also to three. The spelling thrid was dominant until the 16th century (but thirdda is recorded in Northumbrian dialect as early as the 10th century).

Words that rhyme with third

absurd, bird, Byrd, curd, engird, gird, Heard, herd, Kurd, misheard, nerd, overheard, reheard, undergird, undeterred, unheard, unstirred, word

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: third

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