Definition of fourth in English:


ordinal number

  • 1Constituting number four in a sequence; 4th.

    ‘the fourth and fifth centuries’
    ‘there were three bedrooms, with potential for a fourth’
    • ‘We were married four days after the fourth anniversary of our meeting each other.’
    • ‘And then, once I got the joiner to agree to my fourth stair design in four days, the only way was up.’
    • ‘This was their fourth defeat out of four and their third in the last four years.’
    • ‘They also brought the fourth official from four hours away from somewhere in Co. Clare, and a linesman from Laois.’
    • ‘A left hook ends it one minute, four seconds into the fourth round.’
    • ‘It is all the more striking that, throughout the fifth and fourth centuries, the generalship could be held repeatedly.’
    • ‘You have the third ring, the fourth ring and the fifth ring.’
    • ‘China, which constitutes the fourth border, does an equally forbidding job of keeping outsiders at bay.’
    • ‘And my goal in life is really to set up a third center, a fourth center, a fifth center in areas just like this.’
    • ‘He recorded his fourth save in four chances last week against the Indians.’
    • ‘The team's fourth management team in four years is now in place.’
    • ‘Notably, delinquencies rose in all four regions during the fourth quarter.’
    • ‘By challenging the need for contact between the two sexes, Greek myths of the fifth and fourth centuries bc express unease about the need for women as a means to continue the human race.’
    • ‘This is my fourth match in four days - footballers start whingeing about being tired if they're involved in more than one a week.’
    • ‘Three of the other churches are dedicated to St. Gregory, who brought Christianity to Armenia at the beginning of the fourth century.’
    • ‘In the past, when considering whether or not he would stand for a fourth term, the Constitution did not appear to matter.’
    • ‘While Michael was setting a world mark, Nat rolled to her fourth win in four tries.’
    • ‘It was the Bulgarian midfielder's fourth goal in four league matches.’
    • ‘This was his sixth championship match and he failed by only two runs to record his fourth century.’
    • ‘Medical errors in the NHS now constitute the fourth largest cause of death in Britain.’
    1. 1.1The fourth finisher or position in a race or competition.
      ‘he could do no better than finish fourth’
      • ‘Wits were consistent, finishing fourth overall in both classes.’
      • ‘This same stress item was ranked fourth by university department chairs.’
      • ‘She finished fourth overall in the race and led the Horwich ladies 35-44s trio to team gold.’
      • ‘It used to feature teams that finished between second and fourth place in most nations and was a top-notch competition.’
      • ‘They will then be preparing for the playoffs where their fourth place league finish will ensure a home draw in the first round.’
      • ‘The school has a rich history of producing members of Britain's judo team another old schoolboy finished fourth at this year's Olympics in Athens.’
      • ‘The club finished in fourth place in this National Clubs competition - one place higher than last year.’
      • ‘While Punjab was able to salvage a bronze in the men's section, the women faded away with a fourth place finish.’
      • ‘On the men's side of things, the Warriors ran well in the 6 km race and finished in fourth place overall as a team.’
      • ‘It was the school's first B.C. title since 1984, when the college's cagers finished fourth at the Canadians.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, the warriors got back on their feet and raced to a fourth place team finish in the 5km classic event.’
      • ‘Queens, traditional giants of college running, also ran well for fourth, while a battle for fifth place resulted in a tie for Magdalen and Merton.’
      • ‘Castle Combe beat Blunsdon, which came second, Ashton Keynes, which came third and Lea which came fourth.’
      • ‘His first day's events finished with a fourth place in the 60m hurdles in 9.2s.’
      • ‘St John's College remain fourth despite being the only team unbeaten in the first division.’
      • ‘UW Alumni Team Ruckus placed fourth in the universities and colleges division finals.’
      • ‘Menlo College, who was ranked fourth in the division, captured the championship for the first time ever.’
      • ‘The team improved and Liverpool were back up to fourth finishing with 67 points.’
    2. 1.2The fourth (and often highest) in a sequence of a vehicle's gears.
      ‘he took the corner in fourth’
      • ‘But who even gets into fourth while driving in towns, which is the terrain this car is designed for?’
      • ‘Then fourth, then fifth and finally sixth gear and you're still pulling like a train.’
      • ‘In third or fourth, torque is plentiful, yet the ride is smooth and serene.’
      • ‘It's understood he entered what should have been a fourth - gear corner flat-out in sixth.’
      • ‘There also is a perceptible delay when downshifting from fourth to third.’
      • ‘Silverstone's high-speed third and fourth gear corners stress the engine in a slightly unusual way.’
      • ‘This thing's got so much torque I think I might be in fourth!’
      • ‘If they're long enough to hit the limiter in third then that slick shifting close ratio box will enable you to get into fourth without the engine dropping out of the VTEC zone.’
      • ‘Fifth gear, fourth, third - a good car will make it with a little to spare.’
      • ‘I didn't think they made gearboxes this bad any more - the gate is far too tight so that I was forever slotting from first to fourth.’
      • ‘Outside built up areas, the car can be driven on just two gears, fourth and fifth, so flexible is the engine.’
      • ‘These figures are achieved high in the rev range, and with a fairly relaxed fifth gear a quick shift back to fourth is needed for quick overtaking.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3British The fourth form of a school or college.
      • ‘I am excited because my fourth formers are doing genetics and human reproduction!’
      • ‘I suspect that she dropped science in the fourth form, like me.’
      • ‘It's a lovely place for a holiday, and the girls in the fourth form are such a lively bunch this year.’
      • ‘I recall being intimidated by him as a third / fourth former and made to feel stupid.’
      • ‘I think I was in fourth or fifth form at St. George's College when they became popular out here.’
    4. 1.4Fourthly (used to introduce a fourth point)
      ‘third, visit popular attractions during lunch; fourth, stay late’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fourth, the document is often unavailable when decisions need to be made.’
      • ‘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.’
    5. 1.5Music 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).
      • ‘Practicing fourths and consecutive sevenths challenges the ear in ways that sixths and thirds don't, in addition to enhancing hand stability.’
      • ‘Musically, he used three or four short notes followed by upward-reaching intervals, usually minor thirds or fourths.’
      • ‘The second and fourth movements were electric, sweeping in broad brush strokes across the keyboard, whilst the fifth is a pointed march based on bell-like open intervals, fourths and fifths, building up to a climax.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    6. 1.6Music The note which is higher by a fourth than the tonic of a diatonic scale or root of a chord.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The noble falling fourths, echoed by the piano, re-establish the tonic key unambiguously.’
      • ‘While one can find superficial resemblances of idiom, in particular a fondness for fourths, and a seriousness of attitude, the music doesn't really come across as derivative - that is, without a reason of its own for being.’
      • ‘Also, descending fourths appear in the accompaniment of the melody more than once.’
  • 2North American A quarter.

    ‘nearly three fourths of that money is now gone’
    • ‘He tore the pages in halves, then fourths, then eighths.’
    • ‘In Europe, three fourths of adult respondents to a recent survey said they learn about STDs from TV, books, or magazines, while in the United States only one fourth said they receive this information from the media.’
    • ‘Nearly three fourths of women incarcerated in federal prisons in 1998 were charged with drug offenses.’
    • ‘In the fourth quarter they were only behind by a point and bolstered by their fans, they played their hearts out.’
    • ‘Statistics from the US Department of Education indicate that nearly three fourths of all independent students with annual incomes under $20,000 left college in debt.’
    • ‘In 1945, one half of total agricultural production went to satisfy domestic demand; ten years later it was three fourths and Argentina's share of the international market suffered disastrously.’
    • ‘Most were board certified: more than three fourths in anatomic pathology, almost three fourths in forensic pathology, and half in clinical pathology.’
    • ‘You've seen some very impressive growth figures in the fourth quarter last year.’
    • ‘Nearly three fourths of the American paint market is shared by the 10 largest paint companies.’
    • ‘Nice observation Luke, although three fourths of us here already knew that.’
    • ‘The game continued and when it came to the fourth quarter everyone felt that Emily actually had a chance at winning the game.’
    • ‘About 467,000 live births annually occur before term in the United States, and preterm births are responsible for three fourths of neonatal mortality and one half of long-term neurologic impairment in children.’
    • ‘The responses are also ‘engineering heavy,’ with nearly three fourths of participants either working as engineers or as engineering managers.’
    • ‘They had barely gotten three fourths around the first quarter and she looked exhausted.’
    • ‘The cash infusion was responsible for nearly a fourth of the French jobs related to foreign investment.’
    • ‘By the fourth quarter the game grows a personality and everybody starts to play defense.’
    • ‘Then, to my surprise, he tore the photograph in half, then fourths, then eighths and threw it in the garbage basket beside his bed.’
    • ‘For instance, nearly three fourths of the attendees at event 2 had used drugs before entry as contrasted to a fourth of the attendees at event 4.’
    • ‘Over the course of 18 months, nearly three fourths of patients stopped taking their medicines due to lack of effectiveness or intolerable side effects.’
    • ‘Epidemiologic data reveal that approximately one fourth of persons with tinnitus are discomforted by it, whereas the remaining three fourths experience the condition without significant symptoms.’


  • the fourth estate

    • The press; the profession of journalism.

      ‘she is reticent when it comes to members of the fourth estate’
      • ‘Such tactics undermine the print media's history of quality journalism and the notion of the media as the fourth estate of democracy.’
      • ‘In a democratic society, as all members of the fourth estate will always argue, this freedom must exist.’
      • ‘Just as we have an independent judiciary, so do we need an independent fourth estate, the media.’
      • ‘The fourth estate conducted press conferences as though suffering aphasia.’
      • ‘Your piece would appear to be the work of a disgruntled member of the fourth estate or of a desperate Coalition staffer who should have checked his or her facts before sounding off.’
      • ‘It didn't help that the press centre was a poorly ventilated sports complex, which became a giant sauna for the sweating members of the fourth estate.’
      • ‘A loose lip can often give members of the fourth estate the opportunity to put together a story that should not be available to them.’
      • ‘In the last two years he says he has learnt to ignore the barbs from the fourth estate by not reading newspapers.’
      • ‘The company has few friends left in the Irish fourth estate after herding journalists around its new European headquarters in Dublin last week.’
      • ‘That hackneyed depiction of members of the fourth estate might make for more dramatic viewing, but it's about as close to the truth as suggesting all farmers are country bumpkins or every policeman is bent.’