Definition of fifteen in US English:


cardinal number

  • 1Equivalent to the product of three and five; one more than fourteen, or five more than ten; 15.

    ‘all fifteen species of cranes mate for life’
    ‘fifteen feet high’
    ‘fifteen of the passengers made their appearance’
    • ‘I don't know whether it's five years or fifteen years, but I think those things will happen.’
    • ‘This is when groups of from five to fifteen families set out with their livestock in search of green pasture.’
    • ‘Of the fifteen, fourteen had gone public after their acceptance.’
    • ‘The Rat had hired three cooks, five waitresses and fifteen chorus girls for the occasion.’
    • ‘The judges have now chosen the fifteen best teams to go forward into the next stage in March.’
    • ‘Each master artist selects five to fifteen applicants to the program with whom he or she will work.’
    • ‘Upon entering the lounge, we were greeted by the cheers of about fifteen football players.’
    • ‘If the game had fifteen cases instead of five, then it would have definitely been recommendable.’
    • ‘Ella sighed, fifteen minutes had passed, and the show was about to start in ten.’
    • ‘Try the same operation on a man - and twelve or fifteen vessels must be tied as a matter of absolute necessity.’
    • ‘It takes five to fifteen times as much ginseng as aspirin or caffeine to produce toxicity in animals.’
    • ‘Fourteen and fifteen seem to be as good as any at the moment.’
    • ‘Four plus five plus three plus fifteen is less than 40; what happened to the other inmates?’
    • ‘Every day I receive somewhere between five and fifteen begging letters from people asking me to do them favours.’
    • ‘Well, you know the history of drug development it can take five, ten, fifteen years to get a drug on the market.’
    • ‘I didn't complain about my Health and Fitness class, even though Mrs. Zeller made all of us run fifteen laps around the gym.’
    • ‘While this was going on the team got off to a horrible start, losing fifteen of eighteen games.’
    • ‘Armed with this knowledge, the division cut its cycle time from fifteen to less than five days.’
    • ‘During the day we discovered fourteen or fifteen other people, and most people hadn't even checked.’
    • ‘School boards had between five and fifteen members and were the most advanced democratic bodies of their day.’
    1. 1.1 Fifteen years old.
      ‘she must be fifteen by now’
      • ‘The Derby County midfielder made his first appearance at just fifteen and was a regular by the time he hit seventeen.’
      • ‘People usually start working at the age of fifteen and retire at age sixty.’
      • ‘Does it work when a staff is comprised of counselors ages fifteen through fifty?’
      • ‘One in three New Zealanders aged fifteen and over has no qualification.’
      • ‘Travelling on the tube today, I sat facing a surly girl of about fifteen years of age.’
      • ‘The definition of literacy used by the government is that one must be over the age of fifteen and capable of reading and writing.’
      • ‘One in ten persons over the age of fifteen has high blood pressure.’
      • ‘Whatever made me think, at the age of fifteen, I could ever get away with it?’
      • ‘She was born Margaret Ann but changed her name at the age of fifteen.’
      • ‘Woodrow was born in Tiverton in 1926, and at the age of fifteen he began fishing.’
      • ‘Some of the older men didn't, and the boys who looked about fourteen or fifteen opted out.’
      • ‘Almost half of the country's population is under fifteen years of age.’
      • ‘Green's anthology was my introduction to Australian poetry at the age of fifteen or so, and for me it was love at first sight.’
      • ‘He lived there until at the age of fifteen, he decided it was time to leave.’
      • ‘At the age of fifteen he discovered that his father was living at Lightning Ridge.’
      • ‘The two of us used to get on the city bus and go there when we were fourteen and fifteen.’
      • ‘When I reached the ripe old age of fifteen, I signed up for the Air Cadets.’
      • ‘There were perhaps thirty in all, boys and girls anywhere between five and fifteen years old.’
      • ‘And I was fifteen, Ryden was five and baby Troy was barely a toddler when it happened again.’
      • ‘It intends to help students between five and fifteen years overcome their learning disabilities.’
    2. 1.2Tennis The first point won by a player in a game.
      ‘when it was fifteen-thirty, I heard my father say, “Go easy with the drop shots.”’


  • fifteen minutes of fame (or famous for fifteen minutes)

    • A brief period of fame that a person enjoys before fading back into obscurity.

      • ‘The lives, loves and actions of everybody are shrunk down so that everyone can have their fifteen minutes of fame.’
      • ‘He afforded everyone their fifteen minutes of fame.’
      • ‘After all, they too deserved their fifteen minutes of fame.’
      • ‘Sole survivors rarely enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame, particularly when their work covers an obscure escape.’
      • ‘In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.’
      • ‘It seems everyone really does want their fifteen minutes of fame - bar none.’
      • ‘The parties went on into the small hours, with the usual suspects in attendance, plus a few who were trying to milk their fifteen minutes of fame.’
      • ‘Even the humblest of trainers can have his fifteen minutes of fame.’
      • ‘Could this have been my fifteen minutes of fame?’
      • ‘It was (one of) my fifteen minutes of fame, and I still get a thrill seeing my name up there, even if no-one else has a clue who I am or what I did.’


Old English fīftēne, fīftīene (see five, -teen).