thirteen

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thirteen

1. the cardinal number that is the sum of ten and three and is a prime number
2. a numeral, 13, XIII, etc., representing this number
3. the amount or quantity that is three more than ten; baker's dozen

Thirteen

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Although considered an unlucky number by some, thirteen should in fact be thought of as lucky. There are thirteen moons in the year—making it the number of the Moon Goddess; thirteen is the traditional number for a Witches' coven; in Christianity Jesus had twelve disciples, for a total of thirteen; in alchemy it is the number of necromancy—of bringing the dead back to life; a "baker's dozen" includes an extra item, or thirteen; according to Pythagoras, adding one to twelve creates the unlimited number of thirteen, and through this formula miracles may take place; in the system of gematria found in the Kabbalah, thirteen is equated with "love of unity."

Some ascribe the belief that thirteen is unlucky to the fact that there were thirteen who sat down to the Last Supper, but the belief is far older than the beginnings of Christianity. The Romans, for example, associated the number with death and misfortune. Twelve is considered a perfect number (there are twelve hours in the day, twelve in the night, twelve months in the year, twelve signs of the zodiac,

twelve tribes of Israel, etc.); by going beyond that, to thirteen, one leaves the beneficence of the stable number and invites bad luck.

thirteen

number attending Last Supper, including Judas; considered unlucky number. [Christian Hist.: Brewer Dictionary, 1075; Western Folklore: Misc.]
References in classic literature ?
For the first one hundred or one hundred and fifty years, it seems, the two languages remained for the most part pretty clearly distinct, but in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries English, abandoning its first aloofness, rapidly took into itself a large part of the French (originally Latin) vocabulary; and under the influence of the French it carried much farther the process of dropping its own comparatively complicated grammatical inflections--a process which had already gained much momentum even before the Conquest.
When the thirteenth night was come we put up our lightning-rod, bedded it in one of the batches of powder, and ran wires from it to the other batches.
The forbearance can only have proceeded from an irresistible conviction of the absurdity of subjecting the fate of twelve States to the perverseness or corruption of a thirteenth; from the example of inflexible opposition given by a MAJORITY of one sixtieth of the people of America to a measure approved and called for by the voice of twelve States, comprising fifty-nine sixtieths of the people an example still fresh in the memory and indignation of every citizen who has felt for the wounded honor and prosperity of his country.
From his eighth to his thirteenth year he attended the Manor House school, at Stoke-Newington, a suburb of London.
He was engaged in besieging the thirteenth, which had held out five days.