noun, plural hun·dreds, (as after a numeral) hun·dred.


amounting to one hundred in number.


    keep it one hundred, Slang. to remain completely genuine or authentic; be totally honest or truthful. Also keep it 100.

Origin of hundred

before 950; Middle English, Old English (cognate with Old Frisian hundred, Old Saxon hundred, Old Norse hundrath, Dutch honderd, German hundert), equivalent to hund “a hundred” (cognate with Gothic hund; akin to Latin centum, Greek hekatón, Avestan satəm, Sanskrit śatám, Old Church Slavonicsŭto, Lithuanian šímtas) + -red “tale, count,” from Germanic rath, akin to Gothic rathjō “number, account” (see read1) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hundreds

Contemporary Examples of hundreds

Historical Examples of hundreds

  • The narrowest and deepest gorge is hundreds of feet deep in the shale.

  • There are hundreds of them who steal because they don't get enough to eat.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • She had been mingling with hundreds of boys and girls in high school.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • She looked over the cliff down an appalling depth of hundreds of feet.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Why, there are hundreds and hundreds of them--and the smallest worth not less than fifty pounds!

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for hundreds


noun plural -dreds or -dred

the cardinal number that is the product of ten and ten; five scoreSee also number (def. 1)
a numeral, 100, C, etc, representing this number
(often plural) a large but unspecified number, amount, or quantitythere will be hundreds of people there
the hundreds
  1. the numbers 100 to 109the temperature was in the hundreds
  2. the numbers 100 to 199his score went into the hundreds
  3. the numbers 100 to 999the price was in the hundreds
(plural) the 100 years of a specified centuryin the sixteen hundreds
something representing, represented by, or consisting of 100 units
maths the position containing a digit representing that number followed by two zerosin 4376, 3 is in the hundred's place
an ancient division of a county in England, Ireland, and parts of the US


  1. amounting to or approximately a hundreda hundred reasons for that
  2. (as pronoun)the hundred I chose
amounting to 100 times a particular scientific quantitya hundred volts
Related formsRelated prefix: hecto-

Word Origin for hundred

Old English; related to Old Frisian hunderd, Old Norse hundrath, German hundert, Gothic hund, Latin centum, Greek hekaton
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

Word Origin and History for hundreds



Old English hundred "the number of 100, a counting of 100," from West Germanic *hundrath (cf. Old Norse hundrað, German hundert); first element is Proto-Germanic *hundam "hundred" (cf. Gothic hund, Old High German hunt), from PIE *km-tom "hundred," reduced from *dkm-tom- (cf. Sanskrit satam, Avestan satem, Greek hekaton, Latin centum, Lithuanian simtas, Old Church Slavonic suto, Old Irish cet, Breton kant "hundred"), from *dekm- "ten" (see ten).

Second element is Proto-Germanic *rath "reckoning, number" (cf. Gothic raþjo "a reckoning, account, number," garaþjan "to count;" see read (v.)). The common word for the number in Old English was simple hund, and Old English also used hund-teontig.

In Old Norse hundrath meant 120, that is the long hundred of six score, and at a later date, when both the six-score hundred and the five-score hundred were in use, the old or long hundred was styled hundrath tolf-roett ... meaning "duodecimal hundred," and the new or short hundred was called hundrath ti-rætt, meaning "decimal hundred." "The Long Hundred and its use in England" was discussed by Mr W.H. Stevenson, in 1889, in the Archcæological Review (iv. 313-27), where he stated that amongst the Teutons, who longest preserved their native customs unimpaired by the influence of Latin Christianity, the hundred was generally the six-score hundred. The short hundred was introduced among the Northmen in the train of Christianity. ["Transactions" of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, 1907]

Meaning "division of a county or shire with its own court" (still in some British place names and U.S. state of Delaware) was in Old English and probably represents 100 hides of land. The Hundred Years War (which ran intermittently from 1337 to 1453) was first so called in 1874. The original Hundred Days was the period between Napoleon's restoration and his final abdication in 1815.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hundreds


see by the dozen (hundred).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.