Say you have several options for how often you get paid:

  • Weekly
  • Biweekly
  • Monthly
  • Tenthly
  • Annually

When would "tenthly" occur?

  • Where have you heard tenthly used in this sense? Also be aware that biweekly, for instance, has two senses that contradict each other: twice a week and every two weeks. Using biweekly is currently discouraged because of its ambiguous meaning. (Even though it is still used anyway.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jul 25 '18 at 18:47
  • 1
    I don't believe "tenthly" describes a pattern of payment. The only thing I can see it being used for is if you're listing points and numbering them off, you would say "firstly," "secondly,"..."tenthly," etc. – jmrpink Jul 25 '18 at 18:48
  • I would replace "biweekly" with "fortnightly" but the time period "fortnight" seems to be dropping out of use. – Weather Vane Jul 25 '18 at 18:55
  • Six months, half-yearly, every ten months, every ten weeks. – Lambie Jul 25 '18 at 19:07
  • @JasonBassford I modified the scenario I saw it in, which was educational material about saving for retirement. You can contribute to your 401k Weekly, Biweekly, Monthly, Tenthly, or Annually. – Sam Rueby Jul 26 '18 at 20:41

I didn't realize that tenthly was a real word. I suspect that given that it's uncommon in any context, its meaning here would have to be defined by the person using it. That is, it could mean on the tenth of the month, the tenth month (illegal in the US generally speaking, I believe), or perhaps every tenth day.

So without defining exactly what is meant, there is no way to determine its place in your list.

As a side note, I see by its placement in your list that you most likely mean every two weeks when you write biweekly, rather than its alternate meaning of twice a week. Similarly, based on your placement of tenthly and absent any other information, I would assume it means every ten months.

  • Tenthly is as much a word as firstly is. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenthly – user305707 Jul 25 '18 at 19:13
  • Or, considering paid firstly if you are paid tenthly you will be the 10th person to be paid. – Weather Vane Jul 25 '18 at 19:21
  • @NathanM. -- I realize it is a word; I just hadn't ever heard or seen it and it never would have occurred to me that it was. – Roger Sinasohn Jul 25 '18 at 19:22
  • @WeatherVane -- I suppose that works, but I think I would be more likely to say paid first or paid tenth (whether or not that's correct.) – Roger Sinasohn Jul 25 '18 at 19:23
  • I don’t think that it should be used, just as firstly and secondly shouldn’t be. Especially not when first and second and tenth are much more prevalent than their -ly counterparts. merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/first-or-firstly – user305707 Jul 25 '18 at 19:28

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.