verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- a number representing the size or quality of yarn, especially the number based on the relation of weight to length of the yarn and indicating its degree of coarseness.
- the number of warp and filling threads per square inch in woven material, representing the texture of the fabric.
- a single ionizing reaction registered by an ionization chamber, as in a Geiger counter.
- the indication of the total number of ionizing reactions registered by an ionization chamber in a given period of time.
- Boxing.to declare (a boxer) a loser because of inability to stand up before the referee has counted 10 seconds.
- to exclude: When it comes to mountain climbing, count me out.
- to count and apportion or give out: She counted out four cookies to each child.
- to disqualify (ballots) illegally in counting, in order to control the election.
Origin of count1
verb (tr, adverb)
Word Origin for count
Word Origin for count
mid-14c., from Old French conter "add up," but also "tell a story," from Latin computare (see compute). Related: Counted; counting. Modern French differentiates compter "to count" and conter "to tell," but they are cognates.
title of nobility, c.1300, from Anglo-French counte (Old French conte), from Latin comitem (nominative comes) "companion, attendant," the Roman term for a provincial governor, from com- "with" (see com-) + stem of ire "to go" (see ion). The term was used in Anglo-French to render Old English eorl, but the word was never truly naturalized and mainly was used with reference to foreign titles.
Declare a boxer (or other contestant) to have lost, as in Paul was counted out in the first round. This term alludes to count in the sense of “ten seconds,” the time allowed for a boxer to rise after being knocked down (if he does not rise in time, he is “out”). The earliest recorded use of the term was for a cockfight in 1808; its use for boxing came about a century later. Also see down for the count.
Exclude, leave out of consideration, as in As for skiing this winter, you'll have to count me out. [Colloquial; mid-1800s] Also see count in.
Apportion; also, recalculate. For example, They counted out four pieces of music for each band member, or When Peggy got her change she counted out all the pennies. [Mid-1800s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with count
- count against
- count down
- count for
- count in
- count noses
- count off
- count on
- count one's chickens before they hatch
- count out
- count to ten
- down for the count
- every minute counts
- out for (the count)
- stand up and be counted