1. The cardinal number equal to 5 + 1.
2. The sixth in a set or sequence.
3. Something having six parts, units, or members, especially a motor vehicle having six cylinders.
at sixes and sevens
In a state of confusion or disorder.
[Middle English, from Old English; see s(w)eks in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
six adj. & pron.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.