noun (used with a singular verb) British.
- a game resembling handball, played on a court having a front wall and two side walls.
- a cardinal number, four plus one.
- a symbol for this number, as 5 or V.
- a set of this many persons or things.
- a playing card, die face, or half of a domino face with five pips.
- Informal. a five-dollar bill: Can you give me two fives for a ten?
- amounting to five in number.
- take five, Informal. to take a brief respite.
- (functioning as singular) a ball game similar to squash but played with bats or the hands
- the cardinal number that is the sum of four and one
- a numeral, 5, V, etc, representing this number
- the amount or quantity that is one greater than four
- something representing, represented by, or consisting of five units, such as a playing card with five symbols on it
- amounting to fivefive minutes; five nights
- (as pronoun)choose any five you like Related prefixes: penta-, quinque-
Old English fif, from Proto-Germanic *fimfe (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon fif, Dutch vijf, Old Norse fimm, Old High German funf, Gothic fimf), from PIE *penkwe- (cf. Sanskrit panca, Greek pente, Latin quinque, Old Church Slavonic peti, Lithuanian penke, Old Welsh pimp). The sound shift that removed the *-m- is a regular development involving Old English, Old Frisian, and Old Saxon (cf. thought, from stem of think; couth from *kunthaz; us from *uns.
Slang five-finger discount “theft” is from 1966. Five o’clock shadow attested by 1937. The original five-year plan was 1928 in the U.S.S.R.
see take five.