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[nuhm-ber] /ˈnʌm bər/
a numeral or group of numerals.
the sum, total, count, or aggregate of a collection of units, or the like:
A number of people were hurt in the accident. The number of homeless children in the city has risen alarmingly.
a word or symbol, or a combination of words or symbols, used in counting or in noting a total.
the particular numeral assigned to an object so as to designate its place in a series:
house number; license number.
one of a series of things distinguished by or marked with numerals.
a certain collection, company, or quantity not precisely reckoned, but usually considerable or large:
I've gone there a number of times.
the full count of a collection or company.
a collection or company.
a quantity of individuals:
Their number was more than 20,000.
  1. a considerable amount or quantity; many:
    Numbers flocked to the city to see the parade.
  2. metrical feet; verse.
  3. musical periods, measures, or groups of notes.
  4. numbers pool (def 1).
  5. Informal. the figures representing the actual cost, expense, profit, etc.:
    We won't make a decision until we see the numbers.
  6. Obsolete. arithmetic.
quantity as composed of units:
to increase the number of eligible voters.
numerical strength or superiority; complement:
The garrison is not up to its full number.
a tune or arrangement for singing or dancing.
a single or distinct performance within a show, as a song or dance:
The comic routine followed the dance number.
a single part of a program made up of a group of similar parts:
For her third number she played a nocturne.
any of a collection of poems or songs.
a distinct part of an extended musical work or one in a sequence of compositions.
conformity in music or verse to regular beat or measure; rhythm.
a single part of a book published in a series of parts.
a single issue of a periodical:
several numbers of a popular magazine.
a code of numerals, letters, or a combination of these assigned to a particular telephone:
Did you call the right number?
Grammar. a category of noun, verb, or adjective inflection found in many languages, as English, Latin, and Arabic, used to indicate whether a word has one or more than one referent. There may be a two-way distinction in number, as between singular and plural, three-way, as between singular, dual, and plural, or more.
Informal. person; individual:
the attractive number standing at the bar.
Informal. an article of merchandise, especially of wearing apparel, offered for sale:
Put those leather numbers in the display window.
mathematics regarded as a science, a basic concept, and a mode of thought:
Number is the basis of science.
verb (used with object)
to mark with or distinguish by numbers:
Number each of the definitions.
to amount to or comprise in number; total:
The manuscript already numbers 425 pages.
to consider or include in a number:
I number myself among his friends.
to count over one by one; tell:
to number one's blessings.
to mention individually or one by one; enumerate:
They numbered the highlights of their trip at length.
to set or fix the number of; limit in number; make few in number:
The sick old man's days are numbered.
to live or have lived (a number of years).
to ascertain the number of; count.
to apportion or divide:
The players were numbered into two teams.
verb (used without object)
to make a total; reach an amount:
Casualties numbered in the thousands.
to be numbered or included (usually followed by among or with):
Several eminent scientists number among his friends.
to count.
by the numbers,
  1. according to standard procedure, rules, customs, etc.; orthodoxly; by the book:
    We're going to run things here by the numbers.
  2. together or in unison to a called-out count:
    calisthenics by the numbers.
do a number on, Slang.
  1. to undermine, defeat, humiliate, or criticize thoroughly:
    The committee really did a number on the mayor's proposal.
  2. to discuss or discourse about, especially in an entertaining way:
    She could do a number on anything from dentistry to the Bomb.
do one's number,
  1. to give a performance; perform:
    It's time for you to get on stage and do your number.
  2. Slang. to behave in a predictable or customary manner:
    Whenever I call, he does his number about being too busy to talk.
get / have someone's number, Informal. to become informed about someone's real motives, character, intentions, etc.:
He was only interested in her fortune, but she got his number fast.
have one's number on it, Slang. to be thought of as the instrument of fate in the death of a person:
That bullet had his number on it.
one's number is (was, will be) up, Slang.
  1. one is (was, will be) in serious trouble.
  2. one is (was, will be) on the point of death:
    Convinced that her number was up anyway, she refused to see doctors.
without number, of unknown or countless number; vast:
stars without number.
Origin of number
1250-1300; 1940-45 for def 23; (noun) Middle English, variant of nombre < Old French < Latin numerus; (v.) Middle English nombren < Old French nombrer < Latin numerāre (derivative of numerus)
Related forms
numberable, adjective
numberer, noun
denumber, verb (used with object)
misnumber, verb
prenumber, verb (used with object), noun
renumber, verb (used with object)
subnumber, noun
Can be confused
amount, number (see usage note at amount)
1. digit, figure. 2. Number, sum both imply the total of two or more units. Number applies to the result of a count or estimate in which the units are considered as individuals; it is used of groups of persons or things: to have a number of items on the agenda. Sum applies to the result of addition, in which only the total is considered: a large sum of money. 20. copy, edition.
Usage note
2. As a collective noun, number, when preceded by a, is most often treated as a plural: A number of legislators have voiced their dissent. When preceded by the, it is usually used as a singular: The number of legislators present was small. See also amount, collective noun. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for misnumbered
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for misnumbered


a concept of quantity that is or can be derived from a single unit, the sum of a collection of units, or zero. Every number occupies a unique position in a sequence, enabling it to be used in counting. It can be assigned to one or more sets that can be arranged in a hierarchical classification: every number is a complex number; a complex number is either an imaginary number or a real number, and the latter can be a rational number or an irrational number; a rational number is either an integer or a fraction, while an irrational number can be a transcendental number or an algebraic number See complex number, imaginary number, real number, rational number, irrational number, integer, fraction, transcendental number, algebraic number See also cardinal number, ordinal number
the symbol used to represent a number; numeral
a numeral or string of numerals used to identify a person or thing, esp in numerical order: a telephone number
the person or thing so identified or designated: she was number seven in the race
the sum or quantity of equal or similar units or things: a large number of people
one of a series, as of a magazine or periodical; issue
  1. a self-contained piece of pop or jazz music
  2. a self-contained part of an opera or other musical score, esp one for the stage
a group or band of people, esp an exclusive group: he was not one of our number
(slang) a person, esp a woman: who's that nice little number?
(informal) an admired article, esp an item of clothing for a woman: that little number is by Dior
(slang) a cannabis cigarette: roll another number
a grammatical category for the variation in form of nouns, pronouns, and any words agreeing with them, depending on how many persons or things are referred to, esp as singular or plural in number and in some languages dual or trial
any number of, several or many
(military) by numbers, (of a drill procedure, etc) performed step by step, each move being made on the call of a number
(US, slang) do a number on someone, to manipulate or trick someone
(informal) get someone's number, have someone's number, to discover someone's true character or intentions
in numbers, in large numbers; numerously
(Brit, informal) one's number is up, one is finished; one is ruined or about to die
without number, beyond number, of too great a quantity to be counted; innumerable
verb (mainly transitive)
to assign a number to
to add up to; total
(also intransitive) to list (items) one by one; enumerate
(also intransitive) to put or be put into a group, category, etc: they were numbered among the worst hit
to limit the number of: his days were numbered
Word Origin
C13: from Old French nombre, from Latin numerus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for misnumbered



c.1300, "to count," from Old French nombrer "to count, reckon," from nombre (n.) "number" (see number (n.)). Meaning "to assign a number to" is late 14c.; that of "to ascertain the number of" is from early 15c. Related: Numbered; numbering.



c.1300, "sum, aggregate of a collection," from Anglo-French noumbre, Old French nombre and directly from Latin numerus "a number, quantity," from PIE root *nem- "to divide, distribute, allot" (related to Greek nemein "to deal out;" see nemesis). Meaning "symbol or figure of arithmatic value" is from late 14c. Meaning "single (numbered) issue of a magazine" is from 1795. The meaning "musical selection" (1885) is from vaudeville theater programs, where acts were marked by a number. Meaning "dialing combination to reach a particular telephone receiver" is from 1879; hence wrong number (1886).

Number one "oneself" is from 1704 (mock-Italian form numero uno attested from 1973); the biblical Book of Numbers (c.1400, Latin Numeri, Greek Arithmoi) so called because it begins with a census of the Israelites. Slang number one and number two for "urination" and "defecation" attested from 1902. Number cruncher is 1966, of machines; 1971, of persons. To get or have (someone's) number "have someone figured out" is attested from 1853. The numbers "illegal lottery" is from 1897, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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misnumbered in Medicine

number num·ber (nŭm'bər)

  1. A symbol expressive of a certain value or of a specific quantity determined by count.

  2. The place of any unit in a series.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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misnumbered in Science
  1. A member of the set of positive integers. Each number is one of a series of unique symbols, each of which has exactly one predecessor except the first symbol in the series (1), and none of which are the predecessor of more than one number.

  2. A member of any of the further sets of mathematical objects defined in terms of such numbers, such as negative integers, real numbers, and complex numbers.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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misnumbered in Culture

number definition

The grammatical category that classifies a noun, pronoun, or verb as singular or plural. Woman, it, and is are singular; women, they, and are are plural.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for misnumbered



  1. A person, esp one considered to be clever and resourceful or attractive; article, hot number • Always preceded by an adjective or by the locution ''quite a'': some dizzy broad that must have been a snappy number/ bored-looking number (1919+)
  2. A piece of merchandise, esp of clothing; article: Ifound a number I liked pretty well (1894+)
  3. A theatrical act or routine, esp a song; shtick: He does that number with the tablecloth (1885+ Show business)
  4. A tactic or trick; act: When he's pulling one of his numbers, he knows what he's doing (1970s+)
  5. A casual homosexual partner; trick (Homosexuals)
  6. A marijuana cigarette: smoked a couple of numbers in the room (1960s+ Narcotics)

Related Terms

back number, by the numbers, do a number on, do one's number, have someone's number, hot number

[merchandise sense fr the model number that most retail items have]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with misnumbered
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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