Definition of five in English:


cardinal number

  • 1Equivalent to the sum of two and three; one more than four, or half of ten; 5.

    ‘five minutes later she came back’
    ‘five of Sweden's top financial experts’
    • ‘He was wearing a white hooded top with red writing across the chest and a number five on the back.’
    • ‘Half an hour is five minutes longer than it used to take from the flat.’
    • ‘The referee had to add on over five minutes in each half to allow for balls to be retrieved.’
    • ‘Our masterpiece must be no longer than five minutes, no shorter than four.’
    • ‘He was also critical of a proposal to make many timetabled journeys to London four to five minutes longer.’
    • ‘However, she was admitted, given five more units of blood, and kept in to await a vacancy in the hospice.’
    • ‘Now there were just four points between the teams with five minutes of the half remaining.’
    • ‘The application was for nine town houses, a restaurant, five shop units and flats above the shops.’
    • ‘Mark now stretches out four or five days a week for up to half an hour each day.’
    • ‘I have five players under the age of 20 and it's extremely difficult for them.’
    • ‘However old you are, every woman needs five fashion garments to form the basis of her wardrobe.’
    • ‘New magazines and newspaper supplements devoted to design have risen in number in the last five years.’
    • ‘The running of the number five service will be altered to ensure the new 17 bus can run to timetable.’
    • ‘The sum of money is the equivalent of four or five month's wages for a fisherman in the area.’
    • ‘The five minutes at the end of the first half were the five minutes which separated the teams.’
    • ‘Bring to a full rolling boil, add the knob of butter and boil rapidly for four to five minutes, until setting point is reached.’
    • ‘Warm over a low heat for four to five minutes, until the dates are softened.’
    • ‘There are more than five people of working age to every pensioner in Ireland.’
    • ‘She told me there was a man in unit five that she was looking for.’
    • ‘Young drivers are set to increase in number over the next five years.’
    1. 1.1 A group or unit of five people or things.
      ‘the bulbs are planted in threes or fives’
      • ‘Some were still in packages of fives and 10s.’
      • ‘The other five slept on a bunk bed, the old couple down and the other three up.’
      • ‘Do any of my readers know what the nurse meant by twos and fives?’
      • ‘It has taken me since forever to spot the next five of my consecutive number plates.’
      quintet, quintuplets
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Five years old.
      ‘Vic moved to Darlington when he was five’
      • ‘Suddenly she felt a small tug on her cloak, a child about five or six stood staring up at her.’
      • ‘A little girl who suffered a form of stroke at the age of five has been allowed home to start the New Year with her family.’
      • ‘Poverty has also caused a drastic increase in the number of neglected children under the age of five.’
      • ‘The audience shivered but not the children, whose ages ranged from five to 11.’
      • ‘He has been wooing audiences with his musical ability ever since his first performance at the age of five.’
      • ‘There are also separate morning and afternoon sessions for children aged between five and 14.’
      • ‘Dancers aged from five to adults will perform their own version of the Tchaikovsky classic and also a mix of tap and modern dance.’
      • ‘He became his father's disciple at the age of five and gained dexterity in playing the instrument.’
      • ‘Mariam had become blind at the age of five as a result of measles.’
      • ‘Singing is a statutory requirement of the music national curriculum from the age of five, but it ends at 14.’
      • ‘Born in Croydon in 1931, Brian knew he would be a writer from the age of five.’
      • ‘The nursery started with just six babies and now some ten staff look after around 30 local children up to the age of five.’
      • ‘Born in Irvine, she left Scotland with her family at the age of five because there were no job opportunities for her father.’
      • ‘Sitting on a picnic table was a beautiful little girl of maybe five or six.’
      • ‘Families with children aged five to 13 are now being contacted through churches and schools.’
      • ‘Most of the students range in age from five to 17 and they all played with great confidence.’
      • ‘The artist, inspired by her grandmother to take up a needle and thread at the age of five, is determined it does not become a dying art.’
      • ‘More than half the children were still-born; most others died before they reached the age of five.’
      • ‘One day when he was about five and I was six or seven, we took a walk to the park by ourselves.’
      • ‘From the age of five, she would drop off during trips to the cinema.’
    3. 1.3 Five o'clock.
      ‘we left at half past five’
      • ‘When the taxi dropped me home it was ten past five in the morning.’
      • ‘I would guess it was about five or six in the evening before we arrived at the outskirts.’
      • ‘Never have they sounded as good as they sounded at five past five on Monday afternoon.’
    4. 1.4 A size of garment or other merchandise denoted by five.
      • ‘Her size five Wellingtons, mac and hat were in the hall as if waiting for her to put them on.’
    5. 1.5 A playing card or domino with five pips.
      • ‘There are 7 suits: blanks, ones, twos, threes, fours, fives and sixes.’
      • ‘But you bet, and you're called, and you lose to one of the perpetual callers who flips over 5-6 for a weak two-pair win of fives and fours.’
      • ‘Both players tie in sixes and fives, the former has a 4 and the latter does not.’
      • ‘But when following suit the 6-5 can be used to follow to a lead of either sixes or fives.’
      • ‘When fours are trumps, threes and fives become consecutive.’
      • ‘There are eight players and fives and spades are trumps.’
      • ‘The object of the play is to win tricks containing counting cards, that is kings, tens and fives.’
      • ‘If the second player drops another five on top, she scores a Soda, too.’


  • five a day

    • Used in reference to nutritional guidelines recommending the consumption of at least five portions of fruit or vegetables each day.

      ‘have you had your five a day today?’
      ‘overall, just one in five Americans meets the five-a-day minimum’
      • ‘Don't forget your five a day.’
      • ‘They have all spurned the government's five a day logo for fruit and vegetables.’
      • ‘The USDA recommends five a day.’
      • ‘The nurses emphasised the five a day message.’
      • ‘A young woman sporting a red sash declaring "We want you to have five a day" approaches.’
      • ‘The Department of Health's five a day message is based on the World Health Organisation recommendations for a healthy diet.’
      • ‘But behind these claims and the catchy marketing campaign to eat 'five a day' there is little solid science.’
      • ‘They'll go bananas for it and you'll be getting some of your five a day before you even leave your bed!’
      • ‘But I think five a day is a good target.’
      • ‘Although the five a day catchphrase might be appropriate for adults, it could be a disincentive for children.’


Old English fīf, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vijf and German fünf, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin quinque and Greek pente.