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Syllabification: three
Pronunciation: /THrē

Definition of three in English:

cardinal number

1Equivalent to the sum of one and two; one more than two; 3: her three children a crew of three a three-bedroom house all three of them are buried there (Roman numeral: iii, III)
More example sentences
  • The team operates a rota system and on any night there will be three members of staff on duty who will be on hand to help people in crisis.
  • In the recent past at least three large houses in the road have been given permission for redevelopment as flats.
  • He has been one of Britain's top jockeys for the past two to three years.
1.1A group or unit of three people or things: students clustered in twos or threes
More example sentences
  • Being a firm believer in the superstition that bad things always come in threes, I would like to start a pool to bet on what will be the third trusted cultural institution to implode in a dramatic and messy way.
  • Worries that bad luck always comes in threes were soon proved well-founded when a third cast member phoned to say he had also injured his ankle.
  • But, you know what they say: bad things always come in threes.
trio, threesome, triple, triad, trinity, troika, triumvirate, trilogy, triptych, trefoil, three-piece, triplets
1.2Three years old: she is only three
More example sentences
  • In fact, there is no evidence that tonsils or adenoids are important after the age of three.
  • Andy, who also played the drums and keyboard, had suffered from asthma and a nut allergy since the age of three.
  • Suitable for children aged three and upwards it conforms with European safety regulations.
1.3Three o’clock: I’ll come at three
More example sentences
  • So at half past three we had the fun of trying to get back to civilisation.
  • You are having breakfast in the evening and lunch at three in the morning.
  • Nominally Elliot's goal was game over, but you could probably have said that at quarter past three.
1.4A size of garment or other merchandise denoted by three.
Example sentences
  • As hard as I try, my feet just won't fit into those size threes, though I'd very much like them to, if not for style then for tax saving purposes.
  • Footballs and rugby balls must be a size three or smaller and can only be used within the tennis courts.
1.5A playing card or domino with three pips.
Example sentences
  • Some players allow the pairs hand to include sevens or aces but never threes or wild cards.
  • When melding black threes in the process of going out, it is permissible to meld two black threes and a wild card.
  • Bonuses for red threes and canastas do not count towards this minimum - it must be achieved by means of the value of the cards in the meld.


Old English thrīe (masculine), thrīo, thrēo (feminine), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch drie and German drei, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin tres and Greek treis.

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