Definition of nine in English:


cardinal number

  • 1Equivalent to the product of three and three; one more than eight, or one less than ten; 9.

    ‘nine European countries’
    ‘nine of the twelve members’
    • ‘Apparently, things are getting tense in central Auckland, as there have been nine contenders for eight frequencies.’
    • ‘Ten mice with the defect thrived after receiving the drug and never developed an arrhythmia, while eight out of nine untreated animals died.’
    • ‘It's only classics that you've seen eight or nine productions of as a reviewer.’
    • ‘Mainscale production has to be the key and we need to be thinking of eight or nine mainscale productions every year.’
    • ‘I think it is probable that if encouraged to do so, they would flower eight or nine months out of the twelve.’
    • ‘Although none of them feature on the leaderboard, it was a productive day for eight of the nine Scots who made the halfway cut.’
    • ‘There are currently 13 Conservative councillors, eight Independents and nine Liberal Democrats.’
    • ‘At nine and eight years old respectively, both horses should be well equipped for the job, although the starting stalls might come as a bit of a shock.’
    • ‘I ended up needing more yarn than quoted in the pattern - nine skeins instead of eight, which is a touch critical with a yarn like that.’
    • ‘The USA has given nine gifts, with eight coming from China.’
    • ‘Eight of the nine factions in the House expressed support for discussing the protocol with government officials.’
    • ‘The Tigers have made 24 league visits to York and in that series of games, City have won nine times, Hull eight with seven draws.’
    • ‘On each of Peckwater's nine staircases there are eight suites of rooms consisting of a spacious sitting room, with two small bedrooms.’
    • ‘Last season, he had four touchdowns and nine interceptions in eight games.’
    • ‘Eight of the nine town councillors present, voted to accept the proposed budget, presented by the finance committee.’
    • ‘Bobby will be sitting to my left, to the congregation's right, and he will be approximately eight to nine rows back.’
    • ‘A four-block scheme of two two-bedroom and two three-bedroom houses can be erected in eight to nine days.’
    • ‘Finns drink twice as much as they did in 1970-the equivalent of more than nine litres of pure alcohol per person each year.’
    • ‘According to the spokesperson, among those rescued were eight girls and nine women who have been held in the bush since 1996.’
    • ‘They were all jailed for between eight and nine years.’
    1. 1.1 A group of nine individuals.
      • ‘Justices on the top court tend to stick around for a long time. Seven of the current nine were there a dozen years ago.’
    2. 1.2 Nine years old.
      ‘I was only nine’
      • ‘I had flashbacks to the time I accidentally sat on a bus seat soaked with wine having stayed over at OJ's house at the age of about nine.’
      • ‘A study of British youngsters aged nine to 12 looked at the effect of different foods on their hunger levels during the day.’
      • ‘Between the age of nine and 11, 21 per cent have had contact with porn.’
      • ‘At nine, Gill joined primary one of a school in Garnethill.’
      • ‘The children, all aged between eight and nine, then produced their own pictures four of which were chosen to go in the calendar.’
      • ‘Stephen told the tale that he had been obsessed since the age of nine with finding two identical cornflakes.’
      • ‘It's very, very difficult with small fellas about eight or nine.’
      • ‘Vince, his children aged nine and 10, and his parents all left, but his wife - a nurse - stayed to help at a local hospital.’
      • ‘For children aged nine to 11, the figure has more than halved to 21 per cent in 1999.’
      • ‘I declared myself a supporter of women's lib at the age of nine and naïvely rejoiced at the introduction of a female prime minister.’
      • ‘At the age of nine, MacDougall says, he had a nervous breakdown.’
      • ‘Tricks of the Trade is a three-day dance workshop suitable for anyone from the age of nine and costs 300.’
      • ‘His Alpha Force adventure series follows a study which showed that boys aged between nine and 14 were reading less and less.’
      • ‘I personally thought the age of wisdom was nine, when I realized I knew more than my parents, or so I believed at the time.’
      • ‘A burning desire to travel first seized him at the age of nine when his family emigrated from Nottingham to New Zealand.’
      • ‘He could reach 11 notes when he was nine - the age at which he mastered Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto.’
      • ‘I started learning to dance at the age of six, but at the age of nine I had heart problems and the doctor forbade me categorically from dancing.’
      • ‘After starting racing karts in 1988 when he was aged just nine, Wilson has progressed through the ranks.’
      • ‘The survey also showed that crimes of vandalism had increased by almost one-fifth over the same period, with some of the culprits aged as young as nine.’
      • ‘Those skills were honed on the pony racing circuit in Ireland where Maguire rode the first of his 200 odd winners at the tender age of nine.’
    3. 1.3 Nine o'clock.
      ‘it's ten to nine’
      • ‘Music often goes all night from nine in the evening to seven the next morning.’
      • ‘The later licences allow people to start their evening at nine or even ten at night, or take in a show or a meal and still have time for a drink afterwards.’
      • ‘We worked until dinner time and then to nine or ten at night; on Saturday it could be till eleven and often till twelve at night.’
      • ‘Ben hadn't noticed but it was actually half past nine at night.’
      • ‘He glanced at the bedside clock and discovered that it was just past nine in the morning.’
      • ‘"It's only half nine, " said Hermione.’
      • ‘They watched TV for awhile before going for a drink at half past nine.’
    4. 1.4 A size of garment or other merchandise denoted by nine.
    5. 1.5 A playing card with nine pips.
      • ‘Some play that if the hand is abandoned three times in a row because some player declares four nines, the dealer loses 120 points and the deal passes to the next player.’
      • ‘Once the nine of spades is played, then the ten may be played, and so on.’
      • ‘He did manage to hit a nine on the next card and an ace on the end, but two pair doesn't beat three of a kind.’
      • ‘The declarer bids 5, announces four nines, and takes 93 card points without taking the stock.’
      • ‘Nines require the next play to play lower than or equal to a nine.’
      • ‘If equal sets of identical cards are played by different players (such as two nines of spades and two nines of diamonds when nines and clubs are trumps), then the earliest played beats the others.’
      • ‘This player can choose one of the four suits, or can call nines as trumps.’
      • ‘Many people remove all the nines and play with a 40 card pack.’
      • ‘Some play that if you have five nines in your hand and you have no meld (except perhaps deeces), the hand is thrown in and redealt.’
      • ‘It differs from Nine Card Don in that all the cards are dealt - 13 to each player rather than nine, that the scoring value of the nines is increased, and that there is no score for ‘game’.’
      • ‘They just need those pocket aces or ace-king or even a pair of nines as often as you seem to get them.’
      • ‘For instance if the player before you played some cards an said ‘two tens ‘, and you do not wish to challenge, you have a choice of playing jacks or nines.’
      • ‘If no one has all the nines, a new hand of 7 cards each is dealt from the remaining undealt part of the pack.’
      • ‘You may add to your moons at any time - e.g. if you already have a moon which consists of 2 nines, you may add another 9 to it at any time.’
      • ‘Sevens and sixes are worth two points, nines and ones are worth nothing, and all other cards are worth one point each.’
      • ‘I think one of them had a pair of nines and one had a pair of aces.’
      • ‘This deck can be formed by mixing together two normal Pinochle decks, having thrown out the nines, or from four regular 52 card decks from which you throw out all the numerals 2 to 9.’
      • ‘The meld must have at least two cards of the same natural rank (any rank from four up to ace), such as two nines, three kings, four fives, etc.’
      • ‘You can use your two nines to take the top 7 cards of the discard pile and make a dirty meld of three nines and a two for 50 points.’
      • ‘If a player has a few nines, and some sevens, a couple of 8's, he may on trying be able to make a set of four different 9's, as well as a series of 6, 7, 8, and 9.’
    6. 1.6Greek Mythology The nine Muses.


  • (up) to the nines

    • To a great or elaborate extent.

      ‘the women were dressed to the nines’
      • ‘It was all conducted in a terrific party atmosphere with the crowd dressed up to the nines.’
      • ‘Horse racing is always an excuse to dress up to the nines and no more so than on Ladies Day - on Thursday - when women enter their own particular race: to be the best-dressed female at Knavesmire.’
      • ‘A large part of the appeal is being able to dress up to the nines and wear a hat, but also she likes to people-watch.’
      • ‘Apart from the willingness of the staff to dress up to the nines, preferably in drag, the secret of the unfailing success of this bash is an alcoholic punch whose recipe, if it isn't already, really ought to be classified information.’
      • ‘For whilst everyone else was a virtual mobile fashion statement, dressed up to the nines by some of the coolest designers on the planet, Peter was dressed by Oxfam's bargain basement bin.’
      • ‘As I grew older, my friends and I came here every Christmas Eve, dressed up to the nines, drinking Bellinis, eating langoustines and playing the sophisticates we clearly were not.’
      • ‘The two female leads get to wear the sexiest silky black and platinum sheath and flapper dresses, dressed up to the nines with sequins and pearls.’
      • ‘This involves sometimes dressing up to the nines, doing grand things and looking like a million dollars.’
      • ‘If you like dressing up to the nines, expect to pay a fortune for a drink, and enjoy fancy-sounding grub, then you'll feel quite at home in the Living Room, York's new million-pound bar.’
      • ‘I can be dressed up to the nines in a slinky frock, fabulous hair and make-up, and 6 inch stilettos, but I actually feel embarrassed at having to clutch hold of a handbag, or have it slung over my shoulder.’
  • nine tenths

    • Nearly all.

      ‘nine tenths of his life consisted of doing things he disliked’
      • ‘Though exaggerated, their point is still well-taken: nine tenths of the string-player's skill lies in the bow-arm, and it is easier to get the result you want with a superior bow on a bad cello than with a student bow on a fine instrument.’
      • ‘But of course in patent law especially, possession is nine tenths of the law.’
      • ‘In music, pretension is nine tenths of the charts, but trade a bit of that pretentiousness and you can uncover gems.’
      • ‘He's young, supremely fit, handsome and incredibly wealthy so I can't think why nine tenths of the female population of the world, let alone Madrid, wouldn't fancy a tango with him.’
      • ‘I hear the average person in my small town, and I can't understand nine tenths of what they say.’
  • nine times out of ten

    • On nearly every occasion.

      ‘nine times out of ten his customers will return even more satisfied’
      • ‘However, nine times out of ten, it gets worse, such as being beaten, and getting severely bruised as a result.’
      • ‘But, nine times out of ten, Ajax (and a very young Ajax team at that) would, because of their superior skill, come out on top.’
      • ‘And nine times out of ten, all that's needed to eradicate these risks is an alteration to our daily routines.’
      • ‘Maybe it's their dark, brooding eyes, or their full lips, or their bravado - but there is no coincidence that the boys I make eyes with across the bar are, nine times out of ten, from South America.’
      • ‘I have found nine times out of ten that they accept it.’
      • ‘You will find that nine times out of ten, the Democrats will be coming down on the same side as America's enemies.’
      • ‘It does not disguise the fact, however, that nine times out of ten, I am sitting in the shadows nearly wetting myself with fear over the chance that I might be discovered by a shambling madman wielding a garden trowel.’
      • ‘The player may be feeling under the weather or possibly even have injured a finger or something, but the instrument will, nine times out of ten, be in full working order.’
      • ‘We had the game, shouldn't have let them in for that goal, and nine times out of ten, we wouldn't have got another chance.’
      • ‘Groping people is one offense but there are plenty of others and, nine times out of ten, the abused person has to just take it.’


Old English nigon, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch negen and German neun, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit nava, Latin novem, and Greek ennea.