/ ˈnʌmbə(r); NAmE / noun , verb
WORD / SYMBOL
[ C ] a word or symbol that represents an amount or a quantity
SYN figure :
Think of a number and multiply it by two.
a high / low number
even numbers (= 2, 4, 6, etc.)
odd numbers (= 1, 3, 5, etc.)
You owe me 27 dollars? Make it 30, that's a good round number .
—see also cardinal number , ordinal , prime number , whole number
POSITION IN SERIES
[ C ] ( abbr. No. ) ( symb # ) used before a figure to show the position of sth in a series :
They live at number 26.
The song reached number 5 in the charts.
[ C ] (often in compounds) a number used to identify sth or communicate by telephone, fax , etc. :
My phone number is 266998.
I'm sorry, I think you have the wrong number (= wrong telephone number) .
What is your account number, please?
—see also box number , E-number , PIN , registration number , serial number
[ C ] number (of sb/sth) a quantity of people or things :
A large number of people have applied for the job.
The number of homeless people has increased dramatically.
Huge numbers of (= very many) animals have died.
A number of (= some) problems have arisen.
I could give you any number of (= a lot of) reasons for not going.
We were eight in number (= there were eight of us).
Nurses are leaving the profession in increasing numbers.
Sheer weight of numbers (= the large number of soldiers) secured them the victory.
staff / student numbers
HELP NOTE : A plural verb is needed after a / an (large, small, etc.) number of ...
GROUP OF PEOPLE
[ sing. ] ( formal ) a group or quantity of people :
one of our number (= one of us)
The prime minister is elected by MPs from among their number.
[ C ] ( BrE ) the version of a magazine, etc. published on a particular day, in a particular month, etc.
SYN issue :
the October number of 'Vogue'
—see also back number
SONG / DANCE
[ C ] a song or dance, especially one of several in a performance :
They sang a slow romantic number.
[ sing. ] ( informal ) (following one or more adjectives) a thing, such as a dress or a car, that is admired :
She was wearing a black velvet number.
[ U ] the form of a word, showing whether one or more than one person or thing is being talked about :
The word 'men' is plural in number.
The subject of a sentence and its verb must agree in number.
- by numbers
- by the numbers
- have (got) sb's number
- your number is up
- numbers game
—more at cushy , opposite adjective , safety , weight noun
MAKE A SERIES
to give a number to sth as part of a series or list :
[ vn ]
All the seats in the stadium are numbered.
Number the car's features from 1 to 10 according to importance.
[ v ]
I couldn't work out the numbering system for the hotel rooms.
[also vn - n ]
MAKE STH AS TOTAL
[ v - n ] to make a particular number when added together
SYN add up to sth :
The crowd numbered more than a thousand.
We numbered 20 (= there were 20 of us in the group) .
number (sb/sth) among sth ( formal ) to include sb/sth in a particular group; to be included in a particular group :
[ vn ]
I number her among my closest friends.
[ v \]
He numbers among the best classical actors in Britain.
Middle English : from Old French nombre (noun), nombrer (verb), from Latin numerus .