[ muhl-tee, -tahy ]
/ ˈmʌl ti, -taɪ /
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noun, plural mul·tis.
a pattern of several colors or hues, usually in stripes: This dress comes in pink or green multi.
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Origin of multi

By shortening of multicolor or multicolored

Other definitions for multi (2 of 2)


a combining form meaning “many,” “much,” “multiple,” “many times,” “more than one,” “more than two,” “composed of many like parts,” “in many respects,” used in the formation of compound words: multiply; multivitamin.
Also especially before a vowel, mult-.

Origin of multi-

Middle English <Latin, combining form of multus much, many
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does multi- mean?

Multi– is a combining form used like a prefix with a variety of meanings, including “many; much; multiple.” It is often used in scientific and technical terms.

Multi– comes from Latin multus, meaning “much” and “many.” The Greek equivalent of multus is polýs, also meaning both “much” and “many,” which is the source of the combining form poly. To learn more, check out our Words That Use article about poly.

What are variants of multi-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, multi– becomes mult, as in multangular, from Latin multangulus. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article about mult-.

Examples of multi-

One example of a word you may be familiar with that features the form multi– is multiply, “to make many or manifold; increase the number of, etc.” Multiply comes from Latin multiplicāre, which features the equivalent of the form multi– in that language.

The multi– part of the word means “many,” but what about the ply part of the word? The verb –ply means “to bend, fold, or mold.” Multiply literally translates to “to mold many.”

What are some words that use the combining form multi-?

What are some other forms that multi– may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form plex means “having parts or units.” With this in mind, what does multiplex literally mean?

How to use multi in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for multi


combining form
many or muchmultiflorous; multimillion
more than onemultiparous; multistorey

Word Origin for multi-

from Latin multus much, many
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

Medical definitions for multi


Many; much; multiple:multiarticular.
More than one:multiparous.
More than two:multipolar.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for multi


A prefix that means “many” or “much,” as in multicellular, having many cells.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.