Meaning of NUMBER in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ nʌmbə(r) ]

( numbers, numbering, numbered)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


A number is a word such as ‘two’, ‘nine’, or ‘twelve’, or a symbol such as 1, 3, or 47. You use numbers to say how many things you are referring to or where something comes in a series.

No, I don’t know the room number...

Stan Laurel was born at number 3, Argyll Street...

The number 47 bus leaves in 10 minutes.

N-COUNT : usu with supp


You use number with words such as ‘large’ or ‘small’ to say approximately how many things or people there are.

Quite a considerable number of interviews are going on...

I have had an enormous number of letters from single parents...

Growing numbers of people in the rural areas are too frightened to vote.

N-COUNT : adj N , usu N of n


If there are a number of things or people, there are several of them. If there are any number of things or people, there is a large quantity of them.

I seem to remember that Sam told a number of lies...

There must be any number of people in my position.

N-SING : a/any N , usu N of n


You can refer to someone’s or something’s position in a list of the most successful or most popular of a particular type of thing as, for example, number one or number two.

...the world number one, Tiger Woods...

Before you knew it, the single was at Number 90 in the US singles charts...



If a group of people or things numbers a particular total, that is how many there are.

They told me that their village numbered 100...

This time the dead were numbered in hundreds, not dozens.

VERB : V num , be V-ed in num , also V n in num


A number is the series of numbers that you dial when you are making a telephone call.

Sarah sat down and dialled a number.

...a list of names and telephone numbers...

My number is 414-3925...

‘You must have a wrong number,’ she said. ‘There’s no one of that name here.’



You can refer to a short piece of music, a song, or a dance as a number .

...‘Unforgettable’, a number that was written and performed in 1951...

Responsibility for the dance numbers was split between Robert Alton and the young George Balanchine.



If someone or something is numbered among a particular group, they are believed to belong in that group. ( FORMAL )

The Leicester Swannington Railway is numbered among Britain’s railway pioneers...

He numbered several Americans among his friends.

VERB : be V-ed among n , V n among n


If you number something, you mark it with a number, usually starting at 1.

He cut his paper up into tiny squares, and he numbered each one...

VERB : V n


see also opposite number , prime number , serial number


If you say that someone’s or something’s days are numbered , you mean that they will not survive or be successful for much longer.

Critics believe his days are numbered because audiences are tired of watching him.

PHRASE : V inflects , with poss


If you refer to the numbers game , the numbers racket , or the numbers , you are referring to an illegal lottery or illegal betting. ( AM )


see also numbers game


safety in numbers: see safety

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.