- a considerable amount or quantity; many: Numbers flocked to the city to see the parade.
- metrical feet; verse.
- musical periods, measures, or groups of notes.
- numbers pool(def 1).
- Informal. the figures representing the actual cost, expense, profit, etc.: We won't make a decision until we see the numbers.
- Obsolete. arithmetic.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- according to standard procedure, rules, customs, etc.; orthodoxly; by the book: We're going to run things here by the numbers.
- together or in unison to a called-out count: calisthenics by the numbers.
- to undermine, defeat, humiliate, or criticize thoroughly: The committee really did a number on the mayor's proposal.
- to discuss or discourse about, especially in an entertaining way: She could do a number on anything from dentistry to the Bomb.
- to give a performance; perform: It's time for you to get on stage and do your number.
- Slang. to behave in a predictable or customary manner: Whenever I call, he does his number about being too busy to talk.
- one is (was, will be) in serious trouble.
- one is (was, will be) on the point of death: Convinced that her number was up anyway, she refused to see doctors.
Origin of number
Examples from the Web for numbering
This group was far larger, its procession stretching out over two to three city blocks and numbering more than a hundred.
I figure out the approximate outline, the sequence of subject matter for the chapter, numbering the material.
The activists there—numbering about 55 or 60 by nine in the evening yesterday—were harshly critical of Obama.Obama's Presence Shields Palestinian "Anti-Settlement," For Now|Ali Gharib|March 21, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The Republicans, now numbering 47, could filibuster anything they wish.
Now numbering 5,000 across the country, charters receive tax dollars to operate with considerable autonomy and innovation.
I spent a month in Sas Town last spring, and we have there a church organization of probationers, numbering twenty-five Krumen.Stanley in Africa|James P. Boyd
Champlain refers to the Neutrals in 1616 as a powerful nation, holding a large extent of country, and numbering 4,000 warriors.The Country of the Neutrals|James H. Coyne
Make a list, numbering from one to twenty, of tunes that are perfectly familiar to every one.Bright Ideas for Entertaining|Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott
Not a life was lost on our ships, the wounded only numbering seven, while not a vessel was materially injured.Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents|William McKinley
Now, then, Foster, you were explaining about that numbering.Full-Back Foster|Ralph Henry Barbour
British Dictionary definitions for numbering
- a self-contained piece of pop or jazz music
- a self-contained part of an opera or other musical score, esp one for the stage
verb (mainly tr)
Word Origin for number
Word Origin and History for numbering (1 of 2)
c.1300, "to count," from Old French nombrer "to count, reckon," from nombre (n.) "number" (see number (n.)). Meaning "to assign a number to" is late 14c.; that of "to ascertain the number of" is from early 15c. Related: Numbered; numbering.
Word Origin and History for numbering (1 of 2)
c.1300, "sum, aggregate of a collection," from Anglo-French noumbre, Old French nombre and directly from Latin numerus "a number, quantity," from PIE root *nem- "to divide, distribute, allot" (related to Greek nemein "to deal out;" see nemesis). Meaning "symbol or figure of arithmatic value" is from late 14c. Meaning "single (numbered) issue of a magazine" is from 1795. The meaning "musical selection" (1885) is from vaudeville theater programs, where acts were marked by a number. Meaning "dialing combination to reach a particular telephone receiver" is from 1879; hence wrong number (1886).
Number one "oneself" is from 1704 (mock-Italian form numero uno attested from 1973); the biblical Book of Numbers (c.1400, Latin Numeri, Greek Arithmoi) so called because it begins with a census of the Israelites. Slang number one and number two for "urination" and "defecation" attested from 1902. Number cruncher is 1966, of machines; 1971, of persons. To get or have (someone's) number "have someone figured out" is attested from 1853. The numbers "illegal lottery" is from 1897, American English.
Medicine definitions for numbering
Science definitions for numbering
Culture definitions for numbering
Idioms and Phrases with numbering
In addition to the idiom beginning with number
- number is up, one's
- 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