- constituting or forming a large number; numerous: many people.
- noting each one of a large number (usually followed by a or an): For many a day it rained.
- a large or considerable number of persons or things: A good many of the beggars were blind.
- the many, the greater part of humankind.
- many persons or things: Many of the beggars were blind. Many were unable to attend.
Origin of many
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- (sometimes preceded by a great or a good)
- a large number ofmany coaches; many times
- (as pronoun; functioning as plural)many are seated already
- (foll by a, an, or another, and a singular noun) each of a considerable number ofmany a man
- (preceded by as, too, that, etc)
- a great number ofas many apples as you like; too many clouds to see
- (as pronoun; functioning as plural)I have as many as you
- the many the majority of mankind, esp the common peoplethe many are kept in ignorance while the few prosper Compare few (def. 7)
Word Origin and History for many a
Old English menigu, from many (adj.). The many "the multitude" attested from 1520s. Cf. also Gothic managei "multitude, crowd," Old High German managi "large number, plurality," German Menge "multitude."
Old English monig, manig "many, many a, much," from Proto-Germanic *managaz (cf. Old Saxon manag, Swedish mången, Old Frisian manich, Dutch menig, Old High German manag, German manch, Gothic manags), from PIE *menegh- "copious" (cf. Old Church Slavonic munogu "much, many," Old Irish menicc, Welsh mynych "frequent," Old Irish magham "gift"). Pronunciation altered by influence of any (see manifold).
Idioms and Phrases with many a
Numerous ones, as in Many a little boy has wanted to become a fireman. This adjective is always used with a singular noun, a usage dating from about 1200. Also see many is the.