Meaning of NUMBER in English


Pronunciation: ' n ə m-b ə r

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English nombre, from Anglo-French, from Latin numerus

Date: 14th century

1 a (1) : a sum of units : TOTAL (2) : COMPLEMENT 1B (3) : an indefinite usually large total <a number of members were absent> <the number of elderly is rising> (4) plural : a numerous group : MANY (5) : a numerical preponderance b (1) : the characteristic of an individual by which it is treated as a unit or of a collection by which it is treated in terms of units (2) : an ascertainable total <bugs beyond number > c (1) : a unit belonging to an abstract mathematical system and subject to specified laws of succession, addition, and multiplication especially : NATURAL NUMBER (2) : an element (as π ) of any of many mathematical systems obtained by extension of or analogy with the natural number system (3) plural : ARITHMETIC

2 : a distinction of word form to denote reference to one or more than one also : a form or group of forms so distinguished

3 plural a (1) : metrical structure : METER (2) : metrical lines : VERSES b archaic : musical sounds : NOTES

4 a : a word, symbol, letter, or combination of symbols representing a number b : a numeral or combination of numerals or other symbols used to identify or designate <dialed the wrong number > c (1) : a member of a sequence or collection designated by especially consecutive numbers (as an issue of a periodical) (2) : a position in a numbered sequence d : a group of one kind <not of their number >

5 : one singled out from a group : INDIVIDUAL : as a : GIRL , WOMAN <met an attractive number at the dance> b (1) : a musical, theatrical, or literary selection or production (2) : ROUTINE , ACT c : STUNT , TRICK d : an act of transforming or impairing <tripped and did a number on her knee> e : an item of merchandise and especially clothing

6 : insight into a person's ability or character <had my number >

7 plural but singular or plural in construction a : a form of lottery in which an individual wagers on the appearance of a certain combination of digits (as in regularly published numbers) ― called also numbers game b : 2 POLICY 2A

8 plural a : figures representing amounts of money usually in dollars spent, earned, or involved b (1) : STATISTICS 2 especially : individual statistics (as of an athlete) (2) : RATING 3C

9 : a person represented by a number or considered without regard to individuality <at the university I was just a number >

10 : LIFETIME 1A ― used with up <the old feeling that comes to men in combat ⋯ that your number was up ― Geoffrey Norman>

usage see AMOUNT

– by the numbers

1 : in unison to a specific count or cadence

2 : in a systematic, routine, or mechanical manner

see table...

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.