Meaning of NUMBER in English


1. a written number

2. a number used in representing a quantity

3. to write or put numbers on a set of things


when a number reaches a particular level : ↑ REACH (2)

see also








1. a written number

▷ number /ˈnʌmbəʳ/ [countable noun]

a word or sign that is used to talk about an exact quantity or to show the position of something in a series :

▪ Each player has a number on the back of their shirt.

number 12/20/4 etc

▪ I live at number 12 Liverpool Road.

▪ Raffle ticket number 241 wins the dinner for two at La Fiorentina.

even number

2,4,6,8,10 etc

▪ The game works best with an even number of children.

odd number

1,3,5,7,9 etc

▪ All the doors on this side of the street have odd numbers.

phone/passport/registration/licence etc number

▪ What’s your phone number?

▪ Write your social security number in the appropriate box of the tax form.

▷ figure /ˈfɪgəʳǁˈfɪgjər/ [countable noun]

a number written as a sign, not as a word :

▪ On a cheque, write the amount in words and in figures.

double figures

more than 9 and less than 100 British

▪ Temperatures reached double figures for the first time this spring, going as high as 14 degrees.

single figures

less than 10 British

▪ The inflation rate was still in single figures. less than 10%

five-figure/six-figure etc

a number that has five, six etc figures in it

▪ The managing director earns a six-figure salary.

figure 8

a shape like the number 8

▪ The pond is shaped like a figure eight with a bridge across the middle.

▷ digit /ˈdɪdʒɪt, ˈdɪdʒət/ [countable noun]

a single number between 0 and 9, for example 1, 5, or 8 - used especially in formal or technical contexts :

▪ French telephone numbers have six digits.

▪ This calculator can display only nine digits at a time.

▪ To unlock the gate you must know the four-digit security code.


more than 9 and less than 100) American

▪ The nation has not experienced double-digit inflation for many years.

▷ numeral /ˈnjuːm ə rəlǁˈnuː-/ [countable noun]

a sign that represents a number in a particular number system, especially a system that is no longer generally used :

Arabic/Roman/European etc numerals

▪ The European numbers 1, 2, 3 and so on, are based on Arabic numerals.

▪ The date was written in Roman numerals -- MCMLXXXII.

2. a number used in representing a quantity

▷ number /ˈnʌmbəʳ/ [singular noun]

a number of people, things etc, especially a number that has been counted for official purposes :

▪ There have been several cases of tuberculosis, and the number is rising.

number of

▪ The number of cars on the roads increased by 22% last year.

▪ The regulations limit the number of students in each class.

a large/small etc number of people/things etc

▪ An enormous number of people wrote to complain about last night’s show.

▷ figure /ˈfɪgəʳǁˈfɪgjər/ [countable noun]

a number, especially an officially supplied number, showing an amount, how much something has increased, how much it has decreased etc :

▪ Government figures published today show that unemployment is rising again.

▪ The total value of all drugs seized by the police reached a record figure of $116,000,000.

▪ Inflation in Japan is around 3%, while the German figure is now over 4%.

sales figures

▪ Retailers are reporting their November sales figures today.

▷ statistics /stəˈtɪstɪks/ [plural noun]

information about financial matters, social changes etc, which is shown in the form of numbers :

▪ Statistics show that the number of women managers has risen continuously for the last 25 years.

▪ According to the latest government statistics, 2 million people retired last year.

▷ toll /təʊl/ [countable noun usually singular]

the number of people killed or injured in accidents, by illness etc :

▪ The final toll was 83 dead and more than 100 injured.

death toll

▪ The death toll from the earthquake has risen still further in the worst disaster since 1952.

3. to write or put numbers on a set of things

▷ number /ˈnʌmbəʳ/ [transitive verb]

to write or put numbers on a set of things :

▪ We finished numbering the seats just as the audience began to arrive.

▪ The program will automatically number the pages of your reports.

▪ If you don’t number your answers, how will I know which questions they refer to?

▷ numbered /ˈnʌmbəʳd/ [adjective]

something such as a seat, a ticket, or a page that is numbered has a number written on it :

▪ The tickets are numbered, so you can find your seat quite easily.

▪ A series of numbered diagrams illustrate the results of the experiment.

numbered from one/five etc to ten/fifteen etc

▪ The squares are numbered from one to ten.

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