Definition of five in US English:


cardinal number

  • 1Equivalent to the sum of two and three; one more than four, or half of ten; 5.

    ‘five of Sweden's top financial experts’
    ‘a circlet of five petals’
    • ‘Bring to a full rolling boil, add the knob of butter and boil rapidly for four to five minutes, until setting point is reached.’
    • ‘The referee had to add on over five minutes in each half to allow for balls to be retrieved.’
    • ‘She told me there was a man in unit five that she was looking for.’
    • ‘The application was for nine town houses, a restaurant, five shop units and flats above the shops.’
    • ‘Mark now stretches out four or five days a week for up to half an hour each day.’
    • ‘The sum of money is the equivalent of four or five month's wages for a fisherman in the area.’
    • ‘However, she was admitted, given five more units of blood, and kept in to await a vacancy in the hospice.’
    • ‘He was also critical of a proposal to make many timetabled journeys to London four to five minutes longer.’
    • ‘The five minutes at the end of the first half were the five minutes which separated the teams.’
    • ‘Now there were just four points between the teams with five minutes of the half remaining.’
    • ‘I have five players under the age of 20 and it's extremely difficult for them.’
    • ‘However old you are, every woman needs five fashion garments to form the basis of her wardrobe.’
    • ‘Warm over a low heat for four to five minutes, until the dates are softened.’
    • ‘He was wearing a white hooded top with red writing across the chest and a number five on the back.’
    • ‘There are more than five people of working age to every pensioner in Ireland.’
    • ‘New magazines and newspaper supplements devoted to design have risen in number in the last five years.’
    • ‘Our masterpiece must be no longer than five minutes, no shorter than four.’
    • ‘The running of the number five service will be altered to ensure the new 17 bus can run to timetable.’
    • ‘Young drivers are set to increase in number over the next five years.’
    • ‘Half an hour is five minutes longer than it used to take from the flat.’
    1. 1.1 A group or unit of five people or things.
      ‘the bulbs are planted in threes or fives’
      • ‘Some were still in packages of fives and 10s.’
      • ‘The other five slept on a bunk bed, the old couple down and the other three up.’
      • ‘Do any of my readers know what the nurse meant by twos and fives?’
      • ‘It has taken me since forever to spot the next five of my consecutive number plates.’
      quintet, quintuplets
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Five years old.
      ‘he moved with his family to a fish farm when he was five’
      • ‘Born in Irvine, she left Scotland with her family at the age of five because there were no job opportunities for her father.’
      • ‘Dancers aged from five to adults will perform their own version of the Tchaikovsky classic and also a mix of tap and modern dance.’
      • ‘The artist, inspired by her grandmother to take up a needle and thread at the age of five, is determined it does not become a dying art.’
      • ‘There are also separate morning and afternoon sessions for children aged between five and 14.’
      • ‘Singing is a statutory requirement of the music national curriculum from the age of five, but it ends at 14.’
      • ‘Born in Croydon in 1931, Brian knew he would be a writer from the age of five.’
      • ‘From the age of five, she would drop off during trips to the cinema.’
      • ‘He became his father's disciple at the age of five and gained dexterity in playing the instrument.’
      • ‘A little girl who suffered a form of stroke at the age of five has been allowed home to start the New Year with her family.’
      • ‘Most of the students range in age from five to 17 and they all played with great confidence.’
      • ‘More than half the children were still-born; most others died before they reached the age of five.’
      • ‘Poverty has also caused a drastic increase in the number of neglected children under the age of five.’
      • ‘Mariam had become blind at the age of five as a result of measles.’
      • ‘Suddenly she felt a small tug on her cloak, a child about five or six stood staring up at her.’
      • ‘The audience shivered but not the children, whose ages ranged from five to 11.’
      • ‘The nursery started with just six babies and now some ten staff look after around 30 local children up to the age of five.’
      • ‘Sitting on a picnic table was a beautiful little girl of maybe five or six.’
      • ‘One day when he was about five and I was six or seven, we took a walk to the park by ourselves.’
      • ‘He has been wooing audiences with his musical ability ever since his first performance at the age of five.’
      • ‘Families with children aged five to 13 are now being contacted through churches and schools.’
    3. 1.3 Five o'clock.
      ‘at half past five’
      • ‘When the taxi dropped me home it was ten past five in the morning.’
      • ‘I would guess it was about five or six in the evening before we arrived at the outskirts.’
      • ‘Never have they sounded as good as they sounded at five past five on Monday afternoon.’
    4. 1.4 A size of garment or other merchandise denoted by five.
      • ‘Her size five Wellingtons, mac and hat were in the hall as if waiting for her to put them on.’
    5. 1.5 A playing card or domino with five spots or pips.
      • ‘But when following suit the 6-5 can be used to follow to a lead of either sixes or fives.’
      • ‘If the second player drops another five on top, she scores a Soda, too.’
      • ‘The object of the play is to win tricks containing counting cards, that is kings, tens and fives.’
      • ‘There are eight players and fives and spades are trumps.’
      • ‘Both players tie in sixes and fives, the former has a 4 and the latter does not.’
      • ‘There are 7 suits: blanks, ones, twos, threes, fours, fives and sixes.’
      • ‘But you bet, and you're called, and you lose to one of the perpetual callers who flips over 5-6 for a weak two-pair win of fives and fours.’
      • ‘When fours are trumps, threes and fives become consecutive.’
    6. 1.6US A five-dollar bill.
      ‘Joe counted his money: six fives and three twenties’
      • ‘And all three Canadian fives I tried were making their first appearance in the system when I tried them.’
      • ‘In all, 228 people signed up requesting that the bank restore the fives.’


  • five a day

    • Used in reference to nutritional guidelines recommending the consumption of at least five portions of fruit or vegetables each day.

      ‘have you had your five a day today?’
      ‘overall, just one in five Americans meets the five-a-day minimum’
      • ‘They'll go bananas for it and you'll be getting some of your five a day before you even leave your bed!’
      • ‘The Department of Health's five a day message is based on the World Health Organisation recommendations for a healthy diet.’
      • ‘Although the five a day catchphrase might be appropriate for adults, it could be a disincentive for children.’
      • ‘Don't forget your five a day.’
      • ‘The USDA recommends five a day.’
      • ‘But behind these claims and the catchy marketing campaign to eat 'five a day' there is little solid science.’
      • ‘The nurses emphasised the five a day message.’
      • ‘They have all spurned the government's five a day logo for fruit and vegetables.’
      • ‘But I think five a day is a good target.’
      • ‘A young woman sporting a red sash declaring "We want you to have five a day" approaches.’


Old English fīf, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vijf and German fünf, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin quinque and Greek pente.