Word of the Week: Five

The number five is defined as a number that is one more than four. First used in the 14th century, the number five derives from the Old English word fīf. The number five has gained cultural significance due to the human hand having 5 digits. 

In Roman numerals the number 5 is represented as a V because the letter V resembles the human hand and the “V” shape between the thumb and forefinger.  

Unlike most of the current numbers used in the United States, the symbol 5 does not trace back to the Hindu-Arabic numeral system. Not until the number five was used in Arabic mathematics did it take on its current shape. Like similar numbers, the symbol 5 reached Europe during the Middle ages by way of Arabic mathematicians. 

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“Five.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary

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