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many

[men-ee]
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adjective, more, most.
  1. constituting or forming a large number; numerous: many people.
  2. noting each one of a large number (usually followed by a or an): For many a day it rained.
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noun
  1. a large or considerable number of persons or things: A good many of the beggars were blind.
  2. the many, the greater part of humankind.
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pronoun
  1. many persons or things: Many of the beggars were blind. Many were unable to attend.
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Origin of many

before 900; Middle English mani, meni, Old English manig, menig; akin to Old Saxon, Old High German manag, menig, Danish mange, Gothic manags
Related formso·ver·man·y, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for many on Thesaurus.com
1. multifarious, multitudinous, myriad; divers, sundry, various. Many, innumerable, manifold, numerous imply the presence or succession of a large number of units. Many is a popular and common word for this idea: many times. Numerous, a more formal word, refers to a great number or to very many units: letters too numerous to mention. Innumerable denotes a number that is beyond count or, more loosely, that is extremely difficult to count: the innumerable stars in the sky. Manifold implies not only that the number is large but also that there is variety or complexity.

Antonyms

1. few, single.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for many

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She left me more composed and happy than I have been for many days.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Many other things I saw and heard, but was forbidden to relate.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • I have another favour to ask, in addition to the many claims you already have upon me.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • The virtuous Melissa parted from them with many blessings and tears.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • He never could find out what was "going on" to bring so many folks into town.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson


British Dictionary definitions for many

many

determiner
  1. (sometimes preceded by a great or a good)
    1. a large number ofmany coaches; many times
    2. (as pronoun; functioning as plural)many are seated already
  2. (foll by a, an, or another, and a singular noun) each of a considerable number ofmany a man
  3. (preceded by as, too, that, etc)
    1. a great number ofas many apples as you like; too many clouds to see
    2. (as pronoun; functioning as plural)I have as many as you
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noun
  1. the many the majority of mankind, esp the common peoplethe many are kept in ignorance while the few prosper Compare few (def. 7)
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See also more, most

Word Origin

Old English manig; related to Old Frisian manich, Middle Dutch menech, Old High German manag
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 many

adj.

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).

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n.

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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with many

many

In addition to the idioms beginning with many

  • many a
  • many hands make light work
  • many happy returns
  • many is the

also see:

  • as many
  • good (great) many
  • in so many words
  • irons in the fire, too many
  • so many
  • too many cooks spoil the broth
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.