What does ordinal means

Ordinal Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com

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[ awr-dn-uhl ]

/ ˈɔr dn əl /

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of or relating to an order, as of animals or plants.

of or relating to order, rank, or position in a series.


an ordinal number or numeral.



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Origin of ordinal


1590–1600; <Late Latin ōrdinālis in order equivalent to Latin ōrdin- (stem of ōrdō) order + -ālis-al1


or·di·nal·ly, adverb

Words nearby ordinal

Order of the Thistle, order paper, order port, orders, order someone about, ordinal, ordinal number, ordinal numbers, ordinal scale, ordinance, ordinand

Other definitions for ordinal (2 of 2)


[ awr-dn-uhl ]

/ ˈɔr dn əl /


a directory of ecclesiastical services.

a book containing the forms for the ordination of priests, consecration of bishops, etc.

Origin of ordinal


1350–1400; Middle English <Medieval Latin ōrdināle, noun use of neuter of ōrdinālis in order. See ordinal1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

Words related to ordinal

figure, statistic, sum, total, cardinal, character, cipher, count, decimal, denominator, digit, emblem, folio, fraction, googol, integer, numeral, numerator, prime, representation

How to use ordinal in a sentence

  • For example, in the ordinal 24th the suffix th is counted as another word.

    How to Write Letters (Formerly The Book of Letters)|Mary Owens Crowther

  • A full stop is placed after most abbreviations, after initial letters, and after ordinal numbers in Roman characters.

    "Stops"|Paul Allardyce

  • Pie, pī, n. a book which ordered the manner of performing divine service: a service-book: an ordinal.

    Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 3 of 4: N-R)|Various

  • I reach what M. Couturat calls the ordinal theory which is the foundation of arithmetic properly so called.

    The Foundations of Science: Science and Hypothesis, The Value of Science, Science and Method|Henri Poincar

  • Still more, why should they not happen with regard to family, ordinal, and class distinctions?

    Darwin, and After Darwin, Volume II (of 3)|George John Romanes

British Dictionary definitions for ordinal


/ (ˈɔːdɪnəl) /


denoting a certain position in a sequence of numbers

of, relating to, or characteristic of an order in biological classification


short for ordinal number

a book containing the forms of services for the ordination of ministers

RC Church a service book

Word Origin for ordinal

C14: (in the sense: orderly): from Late Latin ordinalis denoting order or place in a series, from Latin ordō order

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

It can now be shown that every valid move decreases the ordinal assigned to the hydra.

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