Definition of forty in English:

forty

cardinal number

  • 1The number equivalent to the product of four and ten; ten less than fifty; 40:

    ‘York was only forty miles away’
    ‘forty were arrested’
    ‘there were about thirty or forty of them’
    • ‘It's a right-wing group with about forty or fifty thousand members around the world.’
    • ‘I've travelled to over forty different countries in four years.’
    • ‘I had no idea what response I might get: forty or fifty signatures would, I thought, be good.’
    • ‘Even then, they sometimes played to off-Broadway numbers of forty or fifty people a night.’
    • ‘The latter is used as a frame in section four, where forty pros and cons of paper versus electronic products are reviewed.’
    • ‘They service 850 customer airlines in forty countries on four continents.’
    • ‘Over the past forty or fifty years, exposure to indoor air pollutants has increased.’
    • ‘A stream bed forty or fifty feet wide is mostly dried mud, with only a pool or two of standing water.’
    • ‘It may mean that you are in one of the forty to fifty thousand households with their names on the growing local authority housing waiting lists.’
    • ‘Now forty thousand years ago is about as early as modern humans got to Europe.’
    • ‘I thought they would be hitting it forty or fifty yards past me, but that wasn't the case.’
    • ‘Some were made for one person only, others for forty, fifty or more.’
    • ‘It was taken for granted that children would accompany their parents to church and sit quietly through a sermon lasting forty to fifty minutes.’
    • ‘It adds up to only 100 people around the world, but somehow there are forty to fifty organizations.’
    • ‘Mr O'Neill said in the first three years of the operation of the anti-drugs scheme between forty and fifty players had been tested each year.’
    • ‘They met men confined to prison for thirty, forty, or fifty years, no one knowing why they were there in the first place.’
    • ‘Somewhere between forty and fifty people attended, and we finished sixteen bottles of champagne over a two hour period.’
    • ‘Considering he has authored forty to fifty books, that should be quite a project.’
    • ‘Then, with a beating of drums, forty or fifty well-built villagers filed out of the temple and took up their stations along the side of the tank parapet.’
    • ‘The colonels are hitting the enemy with forty to fifty air strikes a day.’
    1. 1.1forties The numbers from forty to forty-nine, especially the years of a century or of a person's life:
      ‘Terry was in his early forties’
      • ‘All are in their mid forties and are among the top earners in the US.’
      • ‘Like most people past their mid forties, he uses spectacles to read and write.’
      • ‘The couples who sit together on the benches are older, in their late twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, and so forth.’
      • ‘Atherosclerosis poses the largest threat when people reach their forties or fifties.’
      • ‘Fortunately for the couple, who are aged in their late forties, it was not enough to lead to any arrests.’
      • ‘It probably finishes abruptly at the very awkward age of the early forties.’
      • ‘He was described as being aged in his late forties or fifties, with short, straight, grey hair.’
      • ‘The age of the grandparents ranged from the early forties to mid fifties.’
      • ‘All of the participants were female, and their ages ranged from the early forties to the early sixties.’
      • ‘Instead, it is middle earners in the private sector in their thirties and forties who are likely to get the brunt of the trouble.’
      • ‘I think he'll really come into his own during his forties and fifties.’
      • ‘Five men, all aged in their thirties or forties, were arrested at the scene.’
      • ‘She is a small woman in her early forties with short red hair.’
      • ‘For that matter, the trail doesn't even have to begin until a player reaches his forties.’
      • ‘And wages vary by age - peak decades for earning are our thirties and forties.’
      • ‘But he discovered that the connecting white matter actually grew until his subjects reached their late forties.’
      • ‘Like most female professionals, women of my age in their forties and fifties dress conservatively.’
      • ‘He looked as lively and sprightly as ever despite now being in his mid forties.’
      • ‘The man was in his mid forties with a long brown hair and a beard.’
      • ‘He was in his forties with curly salt-and-pepper hair and was wearing a surfer shirt.’
    2. 1.2 Forty years old:
      ‘a tall woman of about forty’
      • ‘Not for me was there a crisis at thirty, forty, fifty, or even sixty.’
      • ‘Now the people who went to graduate school when that started are forty, forty-five, fifty years old.’
      • ‘This was Damien's first ever race over fences at the age of forty, an age when most jockeys are thinking about hanging up their boots.’
      • ‘I've always joked that I became a writer when I saw the age of forty coming at me.’
      • ‘Close to the door sits an overweight man nearing forty.’
      • ‘She's past forty, and she had her last child eight years ago.’
      • ‘He must have been young at that time, since he only appeared barely over forty years of age, despite a weathered face and body.’
      • ‘Eight are women, nine are under thirty years old, and four are above forty.’
      • ‘Subconsciously imitating this legend, at the ripe age of forty, I have found myself a tutor as well.’
      • ‘Ms. Douglas was a stringy woman who was nearing the age of forty.’
      • ‘Doctor Jones was nearing forty, and had gotten his doctorate through the help of the military.’
      • ‘Look, dude, you're pushing forty.’
      • ‘What happens with friendships undertaken at the age of forty?’
      • ‘At the age of forty, calculations of long-term self-interest have largely prevailed over hormones.’
      • ‘Hamilton retired from the Treasury at the age of forty and returned to New York to practice law.’
      • ‘In terms of crime control, prison cells spent on people past the age of forty are mostly wasted.’
      • ‘Trying anything for the first time past the age of forty is bound to be exciting.’
      • ‘The sage was at least forty years in age, and very frail looking.’
      • ‘Just because you're nearing forty doesn't mean you have to start having anxiety attacks.’
      • ‘Both feature works created since 2000 by artists who are predominantly under forty years of age.’
    3. 1.3 Forty miles an hour:
      ‘they were doing about forty’
      • ‘It was four blocks before he caught up with her, and he saw with numb amazement that she was running at nearly forty miles an hour.’
      • ‘He then started at a sprint, perhaps moving thirty five to forty miles per hour in his inhuman speed and his horrible fear.’
      • ‘He backed out and before I knew it we were driving around forty miles an hour in Timberville.’
      • ‘It was probably going forty miles an hour when it started to break.’
      • ‘I hit the rear nearside quarter of the car at just over forty miles an hour.’
      • ‘We chug towards home at a steady forty miles per hour.’
      • ‘Even if they are five miles an hour adrift, the defendant was still doing forty miles an hour.’
      • ‘The other driver, who was fixing her makeup in the rear view mirror while driving on my side of the road at forty miles per hour, hit me quiet forcefully.’
      • ‘They all went whizzing by us as we tootled along at forty miles per hour.’
      • ‘All I saw was a car coming straight at me, at about thirty to forty miles per hour!’
      • ‘To me, it appears that the light beam is outpacing you by forty miles an hour.’
      • ‘I never see it coming, but it feels like a ten-ton truck at forty miles an hour.’
      • ‘None of us had a radar gun today, but I'm guessing Jimmy was topping out at forty miles per hour.’
      • ‘I was dozing happily this morning when I became conscious of four little paws pounding up the stairs at what sounded like forty miles per hour.’
      • ‘Another problem is the location of forty and indeed thirty-mile speed limits miles from the town or city centre.’
      • ‘Mac nodded, turning on the Jeep and pulling out of the driveway at forty miles per hour.’
      • ‘Something catches the driver's eye at forty miles per hour through the congested street.’
      • ‘I found myself cruising down the dirt road at a pleasant forty miles an hour.’
    4. 1.4 A size of garment or other merchandise denoted by forty.
  • 2The central North Sea between Scotland and southern Norway, so called from its prevailing depth of forty fathoms or more.

    See also the roaring forties at roaring
    1. 2.1 A shipping forecast area covering the central North Sea east of Scotland.

Origin

Old English fēowertig (see four, -ty).

Pronunciation:

forty

/ˈfɔːti/