Definition of twelfth in English:


ordinal number

  • 1Constituting number twelve in a sequence; 12th.

    ‘the twelfth of November’
    ‘his twelfth birthday’
    ‘the twelfth in a series of essays’
    • ‘How often do we hear these days about the original decision handed down in the twelfth century, that the sovereign of England should rule over the whole of all the British Isles?’
    • ‘Shii school of Islamic law relying on a series of rational processes dating to at least the twelfth century.’
    • ‘This was a slow process, and popes continued to appoint bishops to sees like Carthage and Tripoli until the middle of the twelfth century, but traces of organised, indigenous Christian communities become rare after that time.’
    • ‘In the twelfth century when Peter of York advanced claims of lordship, St Andrew was made the patron saint of Scotland.’
    • ‘The great twelfth century rabbi Maimonides ranked eight types of giving in order of virtue.’
    • ‘He traced the origins of the Order in Ireland back to their arrival with their Anglo-Norman overlords and patrons in the twelfth century.’
    • ‘Peter's Hill and Upper Thames Street were laid out in the twelfth century.’
    • ‘I've just realised, it's my twelfth birthday today.’
    • ‘In the twelfth century, the great Kurdish conqueror Saladin built the Citadel, a fortress on a hill above Cairo, using the labor of captured Crusaders.’
    • ‘There is general agreement that the most outstanding of all Galician wine is the white Albarino from the Val de Salnes, introduced from the Rhine by Benedictine monks from Cluny during the twelfth century.’
    • ‘The worst day of this ordeal was by far the day of my twelfth birthday.’
    • ‘It is also one of the world's best locations for keeping a record of earthquakes: its records go back to the twelfth century.’
    • ‘It is unknown when they were first built but it is generally accepted that they are early Christian and that they were still being constructed up until the twelfth century and possibly later.’
    • ‘Arab traders took Islam to the area in about the twelfth century, possibly even earlier.’
    • ‘Uzès is a mass of winding cobbled streets, a beautiful twelfth century (I think) church, and a relaxed mellowness that I loved.’
    • ‘All was lost by the end of the twelfth century, but the memory of Western territorial aggression against the Dar al Islam was deeply imprinted.’
    • ‘In the picture at the Civic Museum in Ancona, St Francis in the twelfth century adores the appearance of the Madonna and Child in the clouds above the Doge's palace in Venice, built 300 years later.’
    • ‘In the last decades of the twelfth century, the Societas Mercatorum, the organisation that had overseen the commercial life of Florence for 100 years, began to fracture into separate units.’
    • ‘The Byzantines experienced some prosperity in the twelfth century, but their political and military power waned.’
    • ‘A twelfth century date has been suggested for the carving, but it is more likely to date to the fifteenth century.’
    1. 1.1Music An interval or chord spanning an octave and a fifth in the diatonic scale, or a note separated from another by this interval.
      • ‘I always asked for ‘Up the Lazy River,’ one of many numbers for which she'd worked out a unique walking bass line of chorded twelfths!’
      • ‘Note how the soloist is taken to both high and low extremes of its wide range of a twelfth, and how rhythm is used to convey mood, the nearest Tomkins ever came to writing in stile concitato.’
    2. 1.2the Twelfth" or "the Glorious Twelfth (in the UK) 12 August, the day on which the grouse-shooting season begins.
      • ‘Traditions such as this are central to the Glorious Twelfth, the red-letter day in August which opens the four months of the annual grouse-shooting season.’
      • ‘Thousands of shooters will pour on to moors across Britain for the Glorious Twelfth, the traditional start of the grouse-shooting season.’
      • ‘The glory days of the Glorious Twelfth may be in the past.’
      • ‘In case you are unaware, yesterday was the Glorious Twelfth, sparking the season of rich foreigners arriving at country lodges throughout Scotland.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, ministry vets have given the go-ahead for grouse shooting to start at the beginning of the season on August 12, the Glorious Twelfth.’
      • ‘Grouse numbers in Lancashire have soared in time for the start of the shooting season on the Glorious Twelfth.’
      • ‘Tens of thousands of the game birds will be shot over the next few weeks as the Scottish grouse shooting season gets under way on the traditional Glorious Twelfth of August.’
      • ‘Grouse-shooting on the Yorkshire moors on the Glorious Twelfth the following day would be cautious, with landowners anxious to preserve stocks.’
      • ‘Yesterday was the Glorious Twelfth, traditionally the day when a certain class of country sportsman took to the Scottish hills for the first day of the grouse-shooting season.’
      • ‘The season starts with a bang on The Glorious Twelfth in August and continues until the beginning of December.’
    3. 1.3the Twelfth 12 July, celebrated by upholders of Protestant supremacy in Ireland as the anniversary of William III's victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne.
      • ‘In August 1998, she held a Twelfth of July celebration in Aras an Uachtarain.’
  • 2a twelfth/one twelfthEach of twelve equal parts into which something is or may be divided.

    • ‘How can you claim he or anyone else is perfect for you based on some irrelevant, stupid thing he has in common with a twelfth of the population - it's so dumb.’
    • ‘If the three are on the ground all at once, that would be three out of 36 players… one twelfth of the players on the ground.’
    • ‘Each of the sisters had been responsible for bringing in about a twelfth of the horde and knew every one of them by name.’