[muhl-tuh-puh l]
  1. consisting of, having, or involving several or many individuals, parts, elements, relations, etc.; manifold.
  2. Electricity.
    1. (of circuits) arranged in parallel.
    2. (of a circuit or circuits) having a number of points at which connection can be made.
  3. Botany. (of a fruit) collective.
  1. Mathematics. a number that contains another number an integral number of times without a remainder: 12 is a multiple of 3.
  2. Electricity. a group of terminals arranged to make a circuit or group of circuits accessible at a number of points at any one of which connection can be made.

Origin of multiple

1570–80; < French < Late Latin multiplus manifold. See multi-, duple
Related formsnon·mul·ti·ple, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for multiples

Contemporary Examples of multiples

Historical Examples of multiples

British Dictionary definitions for multiples


  1. having or involving more than one part, individual, etche had multiple injuries
  2. electronics, US and Canadian (of a circuit) having a number of conductors in parallel
  1. the product of a given number or polynomial and any other one6 is a multiple of 2
  2. telephony an electrical circuit accessible at a number of points to any one of which a connection can be made
  3. short for multiple store
Derived Formsmultiply, adverb

Word Origin for multiple

C17: via French from Late Latin multiplus, from Latin multiplex
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 multiples



1640s, "involving many parts," from French multiple (14c.), from Late Latin multiplus "manifold," from Latin multi- "many, much" (see multi-) + -plus "-fold," (see -fold). The noun is from 1680s, in mathematics, from the adjective. Multiple choice as a type of question attested from 1828. Multiple exposure first recorded 1923.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

multiples in Science


  1. A number that may be divided by another number with no remainder. For example, 4, 10, and 32 are multiples of 2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.