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1. coming after the second and preceding the fourth in numbering or counting order, position, time, etc.; being the ordinal number of three: often written 3rd
2. denoting the third from lowest forward ratio of a gearbox in a motor vehicle
a. one of three equal or nearly equal parts of an object, quantity, etc.
b. (as modifier): a third part
4. the fraction equal to one divided by three (1/3)
5. the forward ratio above second of a gearbox in a motor vehicle. In some vehicles it is the top gear
a. the interval between one note and another three notes away from it counting inclusively along the diatonic scale
b. one of two notes constituting such an interval in relation to the other
7. Brit an honours degree of the third and usually the lowest class
8. goods of a standard lower than that of seconds



a unit of time equal to 1/60 of a second. The unit is seldom used. In modern physics, small intervals of time are usually expressed in decimal fractions of a second: milliseconds (10–3sec), microseconds (10–6sec), and nanoseconds (10–9 sec).

References in periodicals archive ?
Rowse had the perfect answer for this 'numbskull': 'If you weren't so third-rate you'd be able to see he is a first-rate historian.
What's a little third-rate burglary when 100 million Indochinese lives are on the line?
Nowadays to get a columning job, a man need only have the soul of a Peep Tom or a third-rate prophet.
When word hits the set that some joker on the Internet imagines O'Hara's third-rate actress may be creating an award-worthy performance, delusions of tacky grandeur become pandemic.
Apart from Blair himself and Gordon Brown, now that Blunikett is gone, the Cabinet is full of third-rate no-hopers who couldn't lead a sing-song never mind Britain.
To call Saunders Lewis ``a third-rate dramatist'' shows a degree of ignorance and Philistinism which I have rarely seen equalled.
Where are Pugin and Ruskin when you need them, to describe the hideous back elevations of this revolting building, the pretentious rubbish of a grand staircase going nowhere, the creeping tawdry gift shop, the cheap suspended ceilings, the vile laser-cut ironwork, the derisory incomprehensible 'jokes' of the fading pilasters, and the silly plans with their mutilated 'classical' doorcases, which were no doubt amusing for anyone in America who had never seen at first hand a third-rate building by Sir Herbert Baker.
The disgraceful case of little Adam Edwards is yet another example of how a first-rate NHS has been whittled down into a third-rate service as pen-pushers replace doctors and nurses and cost becomes more important than compassion.
They all had the same message, whether written by third-rate journalists or Ivy League economics professors: The Reagan decade was one of decline, decay, destitution, and despair.
Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law -- once a third-rate superhero, Harvey Birdman is now a third-rate lawyer trying like hell to get by in a fancy law firm.
Sadly, the vast majority of voters are faced with an uninspiring list of third-rate mediocrities whose lifetime ambition is to see their mugshot in the local free-sheet while claiming expenses.
There's much to admire about this determined jockey, but let's face it, one reason why he's 50-1 to be BBC Sports Personality of the Year is that even Muttley could have booted home some of the plodders cunningly placed by Pipey in hopelessly uncompetitive races at third-rate tracks.