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This page has 10 definitions of fifth in English. Fifth is an adjective, noun and verb. Also define these 8 related words and terms: five, gear, gallon, three quarters, interval, semitone, scale, and polyphonic.

See also: Fifth


English numbers (edit)
[a], [b] ←  4 5 6  → [a], [b]
    Cardinal: five
    Ordinal: fifth, pempto-
    Latinate ordinal: quintary, quinary
    Multiplier: quintuple, fivefold
    Distributive: quintuply
    Collective: pentad, fivesome
    Fractional: fifth
    Number of musicians: quintet

Alternative forms


From Middle English fifthe, fifte, fift, from Old English fīfta (fifth), from Proto-Germanic *fimftô (fifth) or *femftô, equivalent to five +‎ -th. Cognate with Scots fift, fyft (fifth), North Frisian fyfde (fifth), West Frisian fyfde (fifth), Dutch vijfde (fifth), Low German fifte, föfte, füfte (fifth), German fünfte (fifth), Danish femte (fifth), Swedish femte (fifth), Icelandic fimmta (fifth).



fifth (not comparable)

  1. The ordinal form of the number five.


  • 5th, Vth; (in names of monarchs and popes) V, V.

Derived terms



fifth (plural fifths)

  1. The person or thing in the fifth position.
  2. One of five equal parts of a whole.
  3. The fifth gear of an engine.
  4. A quantity of liquor equal to one-fifth of a gallon, or, more commonly, 750 milliliters (that is, three quarters of a liter).
  5. The musical interval between one note and another seven semitones higher (the fifth note in the major/minor scale)
  6. The fifth voice in a polyphonic melody.


  • (one of five equal parts):

Derived terms



fifth (third-person singular simple present fifths, present participle fifthing, simple past and past participle fifthed)

  1. A music technique. (clarification of this definition is needed)
    • 1996 Music in Early English Religious Drama: Minstrels playing page 510
      Another extension of strict organum is 'fifthing'. Fifthing is a note-against- note method of creating a two-part texture by improvising a second voice over the given tune, starting and ending each musical phrase at the octave and proceeding mainly in fifths above the tune at others times.
  2. To support something fifth, after four others have already done so.
  3. to divide by 5, equates to multiplying a denominator by 5