eleven

e·lev·en (ĭ-lĕv’ən)
n. 1) The cardinal number equal to 10 + 1. 2) The 11th in a set or sequence. 3) Something with 11 parts or members, especially a football team.
[Middle English elleven, from Old English endleofan; see oi-no-.]
e·lev’en adj. & pron.
Word History: It is fairly easy to see how the words for the numbers thirteen through nineteen are related to the numbers three through nine. The thir- in thirteen, for example, sounds somewhat like three, and the suffix -teen resembles ten. But what about the words eleven and twelve? Eleven doesn't sound anything like one, and although twelve is spelled with the same tw- found in two, twice, and twin, what is the -elve? English probably inherited all the words for the numbers eleven through nineteen from Germanic, the protolanguage that is the common ancestor of English and its close relatives, the other Germanic languages like Dutch, German, and the Scandinavian languages. The English words that end in -teen descend from compounds formed in the Germanic protolanguage from the words for the numbers three through nine added to a form of the Germanic word for ten. This form of the word for ten eventually evolved into Modern English -teen. The Modern English words eleven and twelve descend from ancient Germanic compounds, too, and the speakers of the Germanic protolanguage would have recognized the meaningful parts of the compounds just as easily as English speakers recognize the meaningful parts of thirteen and fourteen. Modern English eleven descends from Old English endleofan, and related forms in the various Germanic languages point back to an original Germanic compound *ainlif, "eleven." *Ainlif is composed of *ain-, "one," the same as our one, and the suffix *-lif from the Germanic root *lib-, "to adhere, remain, remain left over." Thus, eleven is literally "one-left" (over, that is, past ten). Similarly, twelve comes from an ancient Germanic *twalif, "two-left" (over past ten). However, as Germanic evolved into Old English, and Old English into Modern English, changes in pronunciation obscured the meaningful elements in these compounds so that it was no longer possible to see how eleven was related to one.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Eleven — is 11 (number), the smallest positive integer requiring three syllables in EnglishEleven may also refer to:* Eleven (novel), a 2006 novel by British author David Llewellyn *The month of NovemberIn music: * Eleven (22 Pistepirkko album) or Ele∀en …   Wikipedia

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  • Eleven — E*lev en, n. 1. The sum of ten and one; eleven units or objects. [1913 Webster] 2. A symbol representing eleven units, as 11 or xi. [1913 Webster] 3. (Cricket & American Football) The eleven men selected to play on one side in a match, as the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Eleven — Жанры хард рок, прогрессив рок, инди рок Годы c 1990 Страна …   Википедия

  • eleven — [ē lev′ən, ilev′ən] adj. [ME elleven < OE endleofan, akin to OFris andlofa, OHG einlif (Ger elf) < Gmc * ainlif, lit., one left over (after ten) < * ain (OE an: see A2, AN1 + * lif, left over, prob. < IE base * leikw , to leave behind …   English World dictionary

  • Eleven — (Нью Дели,Индия) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: 11, Nizamuddin (East), Южный Дели …   Каталог отелей

  • eleven — c.1200, elleovene, from O.E. endleofan, lit. one left (over ten), from P.Gmc. *ainlif (Cf. O.S. elleban, O.Fris. andlova, Du. elf, O.H.G. einlif, Ger. elf, O.N. ellifu, Goth. ainlif), a compound of *ain one (see …   Etymology dictionary

  • Eleven — E*lev en ([ e]*l[e^]v n), a. [OE. enleven, AS. endleofan, endlufon, for nleofan; akin to LG. eleve, [ o]lwe, [ o]lwen, D. elf, G. elf, eilf, OHG. einlif, Icel. ellifu, Sw. elfva, Dan. elleve, Goth. ainlif, cf. Lith. v[ e]nolika; and fr. the root… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Eleven AM — was a news magazine program that aired on the Seven Network from 11am AEST to midday from 1975 to 1999.The hour long news program started in 1975 with Roger Climpson presenting, with a number of high profile presenters thereafter, including Clive …   Wikipedia

  • eleven — ► CARDINAL NUMBER 1) one more than ten; 11. (Roman numeral: xi or XI.) 2) a sports team of eleven players. DERIVATIVES elevenfold adjective & adverb. ORIGIN Old English, from the base of ONE(Cf. ↑ …   English terms dictionary

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