from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The cardinal number equal to the sum of 11 + 1.
  • n. The twelfth in a set or sequence.
  • n. Bible The twelve original disciples of Jesus.
  • n. Bible The books of the Minor Prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The cardinal number occurring after eleven and before thirteen, represented in Arabic numerals as 12 and in Roman numerals as XII.
  • n. A group of twelve items.
  • n. A twelve-bore gun.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. One more that eleven; two and ten; twice six; a dozen.
  • n. The number next following eleven; the sum of ten and two, or of twice six; twelve units or objects; a dozen.
  • n. A symbol representing twelve units, as 12, or xii.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • One more than eleven; twice six, or three times four: a cardinal numeral.
  • n. The number made up of ten and two; a dozen.
  • n. A symbol representing this number, as 12, XII, or xii.
  • n. plural Same as duodecimo.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the cardinal number that is the sum of eleven and one
  • adj. denoting a quantity consisting of 12 items or units


Middle English, from Old English twelf; see dwo- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English twelf, from Proto-Germanic *twalif, an old compound of *twa- (“two”) and *-lif (“left over”), from Proto-Indo-European *leikw- (“leave, remain”). Compare West Frisian tolve, Dutch twaalf, German zwölf, Danish tolf, Norwegian tolv. (Wiktionary)



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