Definition of third in US English:

third

ordinal number

  • 1Constituting number three in a sequence; 3rd.

    ‘the third century’
    ‘the third of October’
    ‘Edward the Third’
    • ‘The third article in this sequence will get involved with more peripheral points regarding general opening strategy.’
    • ‘He was born in Turkey sometime in the third century and was a Tribune in the Roman Army.’
    • ‘The third century Egyptian St Apollonia is the patron saint of all things dental.’
    • ‘The Ramayana is believed to have been written by Valmiki in Sanskrit in the third century BC.’
    • ‘I can't wait to see what he does with the inevitable third film in the sequence.’
    • ‘What kind of training and preparation did you do for the sequences in the third film?’
    • ‘The day of love and romance dates back to the third century and a priest called Valentine.’
    • ‘The legend contends that Valentine served as a priest during third century Rome.’
    • ‘In the second and third centuries, the Church became institutionalised.’
    • ‘The company struggled to make a profit until the third quarter last year.’
    • ‘In the twentieth century, a third strand of citizenship, social citizenship, emerged.’
    • ‘The largest, carved in the third century AD, is thought to be the world's tallest standing Buddha.’
    • ‘The precisionists inform us that we have only now entered the 21st century and the third Millennium.’
    • ‘It was built in the third century BC in the time of King Pyrrhus of Epiros, but was remodelled by the Romans.’
    • ‘Surely that thought is a good enough companion as we take our first faltering steps into the new century and the third millennium.’
    • ‘The first known European stringed instrument dates back to the third century.’
    • ‘Two of the vehicles were burnt by the mob and the third was driven away.’
    • ‘Found in the third century BC, the crocodile was respected by the Egyptians for its power and ferocity.’
    • ‘From the third century onwards, the climate deteriorated steadily, becoming colder and wetter.’
    • ‘For one grand old North Yorkshire woman, the new Millennium saw the start of a third century of life.’
    1. 1.1a third/one third Each of three equal parts into which something is or may be divided.
      ‘a third of a mile’
      • ‘The garden stretches for two thirds of a mile at its longest point and is around one third of a mile wide.’
      • ‘One third of their highway patrol vehicles are unmarked, and most of the marked cars don't have a roof rack.’
      • ‘He says that the City's roads can handle only about a third of this traffic.’
      • ‘Being more likely to have cars, nearly a third of top-earning parents drive their children to school.’
      • ‘Excessive speed is a contributory factor in a third of accidents.’
      • ‘Pregnancy is often divided into trimesters or thirds.’
      • ‘Early retirement and voluntary redundancy programs reduced the work force by a third.’
      • ‘The college has repeatedly acted illegally toward a third of its former faculty members.’
      • ‘The districts were ranked ordered according to size and then divided into thirds.’
      • ‘A local farmer, who asked not to be named, said he lived within a third of a mile of one of the turbines, but it caused little disruption to his life.’
      • ‘A third of fatal accidents involved single vehicles, mainly as a result of speeding and or alcohol.’
      • ‘Headteachers say a survey claiming a third of teachers are on the edge of quitting is overstating the problem.’
      • ‘In fact, only a third of Japanese college grads found full-time employment last year.’
      • ‘In 30 years they drove a third of the population from their homes in their battle with the government.’
      • ‘The final third of the movie switches gears and treads into horror film spoof territory.’
      • ‘Here you have a World Championships and only about a third of the athletes performed at their personal best.’
      • ‘Place one third of the berries over the first layer of bread and add a second layer of sliced bread.’
      • ‘The design ream took about a third of its resources and put them toward the concept vehicle gamble.’
      • ‘All the tanks have filters, but a third of them were dirty or clogged and needed replacement.’
      • ‘Almost half of the primary age children said they ate fresh fruit on most days and more than a third said they ate vegetables on most days.’
    2. 1.2 The third finisher or position in a race or competition.
      ‘Hill finished third’
      • ‘I started this race against the fastest in the world and finished third.’
      • ‘He said he wasn't feeling too disappointed that he could only finish third in the end.’
      • ‘This young team were runners-up in the cup competition and finished third in the league.’
      • ‘However, when they finished third in the day's first race, the ninth in total, it seemed that nothing would stop them.’
      • ‘Combined Services finished third in the competition last season and won the Flag the season before.’
      • ‘Steven finished the second race third and accompanied his teammate onto the podium.’
      • ‘Our main concern now is Turkey, a team who has improved in leaps and bounds in recent years, and who also finished third in the World Cup.’
      • ‘The men finished an impressive third behind the powerful Liverpool and Gateshead clubs.’
      • ‘He finished a clear third, a point and a half behind the leaders.’
      • ‘The driver who finished third in the race also stayed at the residence.’
      • ‘The six-year-old, no stranger to success on this course, ran a fine race to finish third here on Monday.’
      • ‘The team is unrecognisable from the one that finished third in the 1998 World Cup, though.’
      • ‘The three-year-old ran a creditable race to finish third on this course a fortnight ago.’
      • ‘It is only a few years since Croatia shook the football world by finishing third in the World Cup in France.’
      • ‘The pair were eighth in the first race and finished third in race two.’
      • ‘He was annoyed that he didn't do better in his last race because it was his easiest and he finished third.’
      • ‘This season, a driver winning a race then coming third would find himself with the same points total as a driver coming second twice.’
      • ‘She finished third in the heptathlon on Saturday but she wanted more.’
      • ‘To finish third in an extremely competitive class for cars up to 1400 cc was also a very satisfying award to win.’
      • ‘She qualified easily on Saturday and ran a fine race to finish third in the semi-final.’
    3. 1.3 The third in a sequence of a vehicle's gears.
      ‘he took the corner in third’
      • ‘Before you know it a gear change is required, up to third and the car is travelling far faster than strictly necessary.’
      • ‘I shifted down to third, then second gear, wondering what would happen if I had to stop.’
      • ‘The gearbox is easy to use and blasting around the B roads in second and third really was rather good fun.’
      • ‘Fifth gear, fourth, third - a good car will make it with a little to spare.’
      • ‘In third or fourth, torque is plentiful, yet the ride is smooth and serene.’
      • ‘It fires its way through first, second and third with a savageness that's terrifyingly addictive.’
      • ‘Then we hit a stretch that was both dry and clear of traffic, so it was down into third and hard on the accelerator.’
      • ‘Today I made a small mistake when I selected fourth gear instead of third on a corner.’
    4. 1.4Baseball Third base.
      • ‘The pitcher threw the ball and with a sharp crack, James hit a line drive to third.’
      • ‘The runners on second and third held their base for the purpose of tagging up and advancing.’
      • ‘Since when do base runners not go from first to third on a single to right field?’
      • ‘He makes them a more dynamic team, with his ability to steal bases and go from first to third on base hits.’
      • ‘He was sent to third but missed second base en route and was called out on appeal.’
    5. 1.5 The third grade of a school.
      • ‘It's been that way since I wore a yellow shirt and a baseball cap in third grade.’
      • ‘In the afternoon, there are extracurricular activities for those who are in second and third grade.’
      • ‘Rita slumped over on her desk wondering why this man was teaching third grade math to fifth graders.’
      • ‘His third grade teacher adored the book and forced the class to read the book.’
      • ‘When you're a third grade kid with a bad case of hero worship, you don't see beyond the hero himself.’
      • ‘In third grade, we had a debate over whether Mondale or Reagan should be President.’
      • ‘The first time my Dad took me along I was in the third grade and the salmon was the same size as me.’
      • ‘Does anyone really need to know about a spelling bee I attended in the third grade?’
      • ‘We had known each other since third grade when he moved to my school district.’
      • ‘By the third grade, it became obvious that learning was more than an average challenge for her.’
      • ‘Mary Long, a petite third grade teacher, sighed as the last of her class left for the weekend.’
      • ‘From as early as the third grade, Kimberly knew she wanted to earn a doctoral degree.’
      • ‘It seeks to ensure that children can read independently, at grade level by the third grade.’
      • ‘I've been playing the piano and guitar since I was in the third grade and I turn 38 later this year.’
      • ‘I can't help but think remarks such as that wore themselves out in the third grade.’
      • ‘That was in third grade and I didn't like boys back then, but as soon as I hit seventh grade I couldn't get enough of Nash.’
      • ‘I looked at him quizzically and ran over the list of people that were in my third grade class.’
      • ‘He moved to Oakville, Ontario when he was three and then moved to New Jersey after the third grade.’
      • ‘If third-grade students did not pass the test, they would be retained in third grade.’
      • ‘It had all started when she had entered the third grade at a new school.’
    6. 1.6 Thirdly (used to introduce a third point or reason)
      ‘second, they are lightly regulated; and third, they do business with nonresident clients’
    7. 1.7Music An interval spanning three consecutive notes in a diatonic scale, e.g., C to E (major third, equal to two tones) or A to C (minor third, equal to a tone and a semitone).
      • ‘Musically, he used three or four short notes followed by upward-reaching intervals, usually minor thirds or fourths.’
      • ‘It operates effectively at a much more basic level - that of characteristic intervals and gestures, particularly the downward major sixth and (its isomer) the upward minor third.’
      • ‘The second symphony, formally cast in two large movements, plays with two initial motifs, a falling major third with a scalar rise back to the initial note and an insistent rhythm on one note.’
      • ‘He also tends to emphasize and worry a few intervals as he constructs themes - in this case, a major second and a minor third.’
      • ‘The first movement explores the melodic and structural implications of the minor third, much like the first movement of Adams's violin concerto.’
    8. 1.8Music The note which is higher by a third than the tonic of a diatonic scale or root of a chord.
      • ‘Several selections contain strings of double notes, primarily thirds and sixths.’
      • ‘If she couldn't play thirds quick enough, he told her to use less pressure.’
      • ‘It's a row you can hum, for it emphasizes thirds and fourths, rather than seconds and tritones.’
      • ‘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.’
    9. 1.9British A place in the third-highest grade in an examination, especially that for a degree.

Phrases

  • third time lucky

    • Used to express the hope that, after twice failing to accomplish something, one may succeed in the third attempt.

      • ‘They have been there twice before but hope this time they will make it third time lucky.’
      • ‘He relishes the prospect of making a third appearance on this famous ground and hopes it will be a case of third time lucky.’
      • ‘He is now hoping it will be third time lucky at the Masters after going out in the last 64 on his two previous visits.’
      • ‘They will be hoping to make it third time lucky against Oulton having already lost to them twice this season, away in the league and at home in the Challenge Cup.’
      • ‘I've applied to be manager twice before so let's hope it is going to be third time lucky.’
      • ‘Having lost narrowly to Hull twice, Wakefield are looking to make it third time lucky against them tomorrow.’
      • ‘‘We've put ourselves in a good position to take the title this year, let's hope it's third time lucky,’ he said.’
      • ‘A leading York Liberal Democrat is hoping to make it third time lucky and become the city's MP at the next general election.’
      • ‘The Knights will be hoping it's third time lucky against Doncaster next Sunday having already played them twice this season.’
      • ‘This was my third official visit and I was hoping it would be my third time lucky as each of the previous occasions had disappointed.’
  • third time is the (or a) charm

    • Used to express the hope that, after twice failing to accomplish something, one may succeed in the third attempt.

      • ‘‘We've put ourselves in a good position to take the title this year, let's hope it's third time lucky,’ he said.’
      • ‘He relishes the prospect of making a third appearance on this famous ground and hopes it will be a case of third time lucky.’
      • ‘This was my third official visit and I was hoping it would be my third time lucky as each of the previous occasions had disappointed.’
      • ‘They will be hoping to make it third time lucky against Oulton having already lost to them twice this season, away in the league and at home in the Challenge Cup.’
      • ‘He is now hoping it will be third time lucky at the Masters after going out in the last 64 on his two previous visits.’
      • ‘I've applied to be manager twice before so let's hope it is going to be third time lucky.’
      • ‘The Knights will be hoping it's third time lucky against Doncaster next Sunday having already played them twice this season.’
      • ‘A leading York Liberal Democrat is hoping to make it third time lucky and become the city's MP at the next general election.’
      • ‘They have been there twice before but hope this time they will make it third time lucky.’
      • ‘Having lost narrowly to Hull twice, Wakefield are looking to make it third time lucky against them tomorrow.’

Origin

Old English thridda, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch derde and German dritte, also to three. The spelling thrid was dominant until the 16th century (but thirdda is recorded in Northumbrian dialect as early as the 10th century).

Pronunciation

third

/θərd//THərd/