• Number

    Pronunciation

    • UK enPR: nŭm'bə(r), IPA: /ˈnʌm.bə(ɹ)/
    • US IPA: /ˈnʌm.bɚ/
    • Hyphenation: num + ber

    Origin 1

    Alternative forms

    Anglo-Norman noumbre, from Old French nombre, from Latin numerus, from Proto-Indo-European *nem- ("to divide").

    Noun

    number

    (plural numbers)
    1. (countable) An abstract entity used to describe quantity.
      Zero, one, -1, 2.5, and pi are all numbers.
    2. (countable) A numeral: a symbol for a non-negative integer
      The number 8 is usually made with a single stroke.
    3. (countable, mathematics) A member of one of several classes: natural numbers, integers, rational numbers, real numbers, complex numbers, quaternions.
    4. (Followed by a numeral; used attributively) Indicating the position of something in a list or sequence. Abbreviations: No or No., no or no. (in each case, sometimes written with a superscript "o", like Nº or №). The symbol "#" is also used in this manner.
      Horse number 5 won the race.
    5. Quantity.
      • 2013-06-08, The new masters and commanders, From the ground, Colombo’s port does not look like much....  But viewed from high up in one of the growing number of skyscrapers in Sri Lanka’s capital, it is clear that something extraordinary is happening: China is creating a shipping hub just 200 miles from India’s southern tip.
    6. Any number of people can be reading from a given repository at a time.
      • Francis BaconNumber itself importeth not much in armies where the people are of weak courage.
    7. (grammar) Of a word or phrase, the state of being singular, dual or plural, shown by inflection.
      Adjectives and nouns should agree in gender, number, and case.
    8. (now rare, in the plural) Poetic metres; verses, rhymes.
      • 1635, John Donne, The Triple Foole:Griefe brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
        For, he tames it, that fetters it in verse.
    9. (countable) A performance; especially, a single song or song and dance routine within a larger show.
      For his second number, he sang "The Moon Shines Bright".
    10. (countable, informal) A person
      • 1968 Janet Burroway, The dancer from the dance: a novel, Little, Brown, p40I laughed. "Don't doubt that. She's a saucy little number."
      • 1988 Erica Jong, Serenissima, Dell, p214"Signorina Jessica," says the maid, a saucy little number, "your father has gone to his prayers and demands that you come to the synagogue at once ..."
      • 2005 Denise A. Agnew, Kate Hill & Arianna Hart, By Honor Bound, Ellora's Cave Publishing, p207He had to focus on the mission, staying alive and getting out, not on the sexy number rubbing up against him.
    11. (countable, informal) An item of clothing, particularly a stylish one
      • 2007 Cesca Martin, Agony Angel: So You Think You've Got Problems..., Troubador Publishing Ltd, p134The trouble was I was wearing my backless glittering number from the night before underneath, so unless I could persuade the office it was National Fancy Dress Day I was doomed to sweat profusely in bottle blue.
      • 2007 Lorelei James, Running with the Devil, Samhain Publishing, Ltd, p46"I doubt the sexy number you wore earlier tonight fell from the sky."
    12. (countable, informal) A telephone number
      • 2001 E. Forrest Hein, The Ruach Project, Xulon Press, p86... I wonder if you could get hold of him and have him call me here at Interior. I’m in my office, do you have my number?”
      • 2007 Lindsey Nicole Isham, No Sex in the City: One Virgin's Confessions on Love, Lust, Dating, and Waiting, Kregel Publications, p111When I agreed to go surfing with him he said, “Great, can I have your number?” Well, I don’t give my number to guys I don’t know.
    13. A sequence of digits and letters used to register people, automobiles, and various other items.
    14. (slang, chiefly US) A marijuana cigarette, or joint; also, a quantity of marijuana bought form a dealer.
      • 2009, Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice, Vintage 2010, p. 12:Back at his place again, Doc rolled a number, put on a late movie, found an old T-shirt, and sat tearing it up into short strips ...
    15. (dated) An issue of a periodical publication.the latest number of a magazine

    Synonyms

    Hyponyms

    Full definition of number

    Verb

    1. (transitive) To label (items) with numbers; to assign numbers to (items).Number the baskets so that we can find them easily.
    2. (intransitive) To total or count; to amount to.I don’t know how many books are in the library, but they must number in the thousands.

    Derived terms

    Pronunciation

    • RP enPR: nŭm'ə, IPA: /ˈnʌmə/
    • US: enPR: nŭm'ər, IPA: /ˈnʌmɚ/
    • Hyphenation: num + ber

    Origin 2

    From numb + -er.

    Adjective

    number
    1. number

      (comparative of numb)
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