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English numbers
 <  1 2 3  > 
    Cardinal : two
    Ordinal : second
    Adverbial : twice
    Multiplier : double


From earlier twise, from Middle English twies, twiȝes, from Old English twīġes ‎(twice), from twīwa, twīġa ("twice"; whence Middle English twie ‎(twice)) + -es ‎(adverbial genitive ending). Related to Saterland Frisian twäie ‎(twice), Middle Low German twiges, twies ‎(twice), Middle High German zwies ‎(twies). Compare also twi- meaning two or both.



twice ‎(not comparable)

  1. Two times.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, The Celebrity:
      He could not be induced to remain permanently at Mohair because Miss Trevor was at Asquith, but he appropriated a Hempstead cart from the Mohair stables and made the trip sometimes twice in a day.
    • 1934, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
      Santa Claus is coming to town. / He’s making a list, / And checking it twice, / He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. / Santa Claus is coming to town.
  2. (usually with "as", of a specified quality) Doubled in quantity, intensity, or degree.
    • 1826, John Nicholson, The Operative Mechanic, and British Machinist: Being a Practical Display of the Manufactories and Mechanical Arts of the United Kingdom, volume 1, H.C. Carey & I. Lea, page 78:
      Thus it appears that if the machine is turning twice as slow as before, there is more than twice the former quantity in the rising buckets; and more will be raised in a minute by the same expenditure of power.
    • 1896, Livingston Stone, Domesticated Trout: How to Breed and Grow Them, fourth edition, page 304:
      You can't get anything thinner than a spring shad, unless you take a couple of them, when, of course, they will be twice as thin.
    • 1952, Peter Lincoln Spencer, Building mathematical concepts in the elementary school, page 139:
      MARY: As you go from left to right, each example has twice as many twos; from right to left, twice as few.
    • 1995, Louise Corti, Heather Laurie, Shirley Dex, Highly Qualified Women, Great Britain. Dept. of Employment, page 18:
      Both men and women with higher qualifications were twice as less likely to be unemployed than their less qualified counterparts.

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