Third time’s the charm

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Third time’s the charm is an idiom that dates back to the 1800s. We will examine the meaning of the idiom third time’s the charm, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Third time’s the charm means the third attempt to do something will succeed, because the number three is considered lucky. A more cynical person might believe that success on the third try comes from learning from one’s first two attempts. Third time’s the charm is a phrase that is used when a third attempt succeeds; the phrase is also used as an affirmation before one begins the third attempt at something. The idiom third time’s the charm has its roots in the ancient belief that the number three is magical, but the phrase was first used in the early 1800s. A companion phrase is third time lucky, generally considered a British term.


American Thinker’s Doris O’Brien opines today that Clinton does have the hope “that through some third-time’s-the-charm magic she could at last realize her dream of becoming the first female president of the United States.” (The New American)

“Our goal is third time’s the charm, but it’s one game at a time.” (The Journal Gazette)

Hopefully, the third time’s the charm, and this go-around will have more staying power than the last. (The Shepherd Express)

The third time proved to be the charm today for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s 5-year-old gelding Battaash (IRE), who after consecutive fourth-place finishes the last two years, finally won the five-furlong, $512,000 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) at York in a scintillating 3 ¾-length course record victory under jockey Jim Crowley. (The Paulick Report)