number

[ nuhm-ber ]
/ ˈnʌm bər /

noun

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Idioms

Origin of number

1250–1300; 1940–45 for def 23; (noun) Middle English, variant of nombre < Old French < Latin numerus; (v.) Middle English nombren < Old French nombrer < Latin numerāre (derivative of numerus)

SYNONYMS FOR number

2 Number, sum both imply the total of two or more units. Number applies to the result of a count or estimate in which the units are considered as individuals; it is used of groups of persons or things: to have a number of items on the agenda. Sum applies to the result of addition, in which only the total is considered: a large sum of money.
20 copy, edition.

Related forms

Can be confused

amount number (see usage note at amount)

Usage note

2. As a collective noun, number, when preceded by a, is most often treated as a plural: A number of legislators have voiced their dissent. When preceded by the, it is usually used as a singular: The number of legislators present was small. See also amount, collective noun.

Definition for number (2 of 2)

numb

[ nuhm ]
/ nʌm /

adjective, numb·er, numb·est.

deprived of physical sensation or the ability to move: fingers numb with cold.
manifesting or resembling numbness: a numb sensation.
incapable of action or of feeling emotion; enervated; prostrate: numb with grief.
lacking or deficient in emotion or feeling; indifferent: She was numb to their pleas for mercy.

verb (used with object)

to make numb.

Origin of numb

1400–50; late Middle English nome literally, taken, seized, variant of nomen, numen, Old English numen, past participle of niman to take, nim1

Related forms

numb·ly, adverbnumb·ness, nounhalf-numb, adjectiveun·numbed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for number

British Dictionary definitions for number (1 of 2)

number

/ (ˈnʌmbə) /

noun

verb (mainly tr)

Word Origin for number

C13: from Old French nombre, from Latin numerus

British Dictionary definitions for number (2 of 2)

numb

/ (nʌm) /

adjective

deprived of feeling through cold, shock, etc
unable to move; paralysed
characteristic of or resembling numbnessa numb sensation

verb (tr)

to make numb; deaden, shock, or paralyse

Derived Forms

numbly, adverbnumbness, noun

Word Origin for numb

C15: nomen, literally: taken (with paralysis), from Old English niman to take; related to Old Norse nema, Old High German niman
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

Medicine definitions for number (1 of 2)

number

[ nŭmbər ]

n.

A symbol expressive of a certain value or of a specific quantity determined by count.
The place of any unit in a series.

Medicine definitions for number (2 of 2)

numb

[ nŭm ]

adj.

Being unable or only partially able to feel sensation or pain; deadened or anesthetized.
Being emotionally unresponsive; indifferent.

v.

To make or become numb.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for number

number

[ nŭmbər ]

A member of the set of positive integers. Each number is one of a series of unique symbols, each of which has exactly one predecessor except the first symbol in the series (1), and none of which are the predecessor of more than one number.
A member of any of the further sets of mathematical objects defined in terms of such numbers, such as negative integers, real numbers, and complex numbers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for number

number


The grammatical category that classifies a noun, pronoun, or verb as singular or plural. Woman, it, and is are singular; women, they, and are are plural.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with number

number


In addition to the idiom beginning with number

  • number is up, one's

also see:

  • a number of
  • any number of
  • back number
  • by the numbers
  • crunch numbers
  • days are numbered
  • do a job (number) on
  • get (have) someone's number
  • hot number
  • in round numbers
  • look out for (number one)
  • opposite number
  • safety in numbers
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.