mul·​ti·​ple | \ ˈməl-tə-pəl \

Definition of multiple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : consisting of, including, or involving more than one multiple births multiple choices
2 : many, manifold multiple achievements He suffered multiple injuries in the accident.
3 : shared by many multiple ownership
4 : having numerous aspects or functions : various life is very multiple; full of movements, facts, and news— John Galsworthy
5 : being a group of terminals (see terminal entry 2 sense 3) which make a circuit available at a number of points
6 : formed by coalescence of the ripening ovaries (see ovary sense 2) of several flowers a multiple fruit



Definition of multiple (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the product of a quantity by an integer 35 is a multiple of 7
b : something in units of more than one or two
3 chiefly British : chain store

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Examples of multiple in a Sentence


She made multiple copies of the report. a person of multiple achievements He suffered multiple injuries in the accident.


35 is a multiple of 7. 12 is a multiple of 6.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In Manhattan this week, the superstar has shown off multiple pairs that feature studded embellishment, metal frames, and transparency. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Tiny Sunglasses Are So Last Year—Just Ask Rihanna," 15 Jan. 2019 Loose-Fill Insulation Loose-fill insulation is great for installing in attics with very little headroom and multiple obstructions such as vents and cross-beams. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Choose the Attic Insulation Your Home Needs," 13 Jan. 2019 Her Congressional election made history in multiple ways. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Who Is Tulsi Gabbard? Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Presidential Candidate," 12 Jan. 2019 After the series aired, multiple artists denounced Kelly and a criminal investigation was reportedly launched against him in Georgia. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Buku Abi, R. Kelly’s Daughter, Called Her Father a “Monster”," 11 Jan. 2019 Situated on 2,000 acres, the resort has a private beach, multiple pools, restaurants, and bars, a spa, an 18-hole golf course, and one of the nicest tennis facilities in the Caribbean. Kaitlin Menza, Town & Country, "The Best Things to Do, Eat, and See in Curaçao," 8 Jan. 2019 Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy While two films in this category — Green Book and Vice – received multiple Golden Globe nods this year, some say that The Favourite actually has a better shot at winning. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "See if Your 2019 Golden Globe Predictions Match Up With the Projected Winners," 5 Jan. 2019 Well, multiple witnesses come over and over kept popping up. Fox News, "McConnell on marshalling the votes to confirm Kavanaugh," 7 Oct. 2018 Earlier this year, Whole Foods expanded by launching multiple 365-branded stores. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Amazon is reportedly bringing Whole Foods to US suburbs with Prime Now delivery," 30 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

A week later during a third attempt she was also hit multiple times in the head. Wilson Ring, The Seattle Times, "Officer sues Vermont Police Academy over head injuries," 7 Jan. 2019 Choosing multiples of the same color and type can be helpful when miniature socks inevitably go missing. Naomi Williamson, Woman's Day, "10 Things Never to Buy a New Mom," 23 July 2014 Unlike the company’s first game, which has players answer 10 multiple-choice questions to win a share of the prize money, HQ Words tasks them with guessing popular phrases one letter at a time. Jon Porter, The Verge, "HQ Trivia becomes HQ Trivia & Words as second game exits beta," 24 Dec. 2018 Still, the College Board, ACT and many admission deans say multiple-choice tests provide useful data in combination with grade-point averages, course transcripts, application essays and other elements of applications. Nick Anderson,, "University of Chicago eliminates SAT/ACT requirement," 14 June 2018 Still, the College Board, ACT and many admission deans say multiple-choice tests provide useful data in combination with grade-point averages, course transcripts, application essays and other elements of applications. Nick Anderson, Washington Post, "A shake-up in elite admissions: U-Chicago drops SAT/ACT testing requirement," 14 June 2018 HQ Trivia has become one of America’s most talked-about smartphone games, with players making a daily habit of answering obscure multiple-choice questions in the hope of winning cash prizes. The Economist, "A tale of two WashingtonsIt make sense for Amazon to build its second HQ near Washington," 8 Mar. 2018 Creating videos for Pattie Gonia, which Wiley does with the help of friends, requires multiple takes and significant time in heels. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Meet Pattie Gonia, the Backpacking Drag Queen Promoting Inclusivity in the Outdoors," 11 Dec. 2018 Other Reddit users added their own allegations of the same issue, with one public screenshot showing multiple, confused replies to the same support-ticket thread. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Bethesda’s attempt to fix a Fallout 76 blunder leaks angry shoppers’ PID [Updated]," 5 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'multiple.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of multiple


1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1660, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for multiple

Adjective and Noun

French, from Latin multiplex, from multi- + -plex -fold — more at -fold

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Learn More about multiple

Statistics for multiple

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for multiple

The first known use of multiple was in 1647

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More Definitions for multiple



Financial Definition of multiple

What It Is

A multiple is a relative valuation metric used to estimate the value of a stock.

How It Works

Let's look at an example to illustrate the concept.

Assume that Big Store's stock is trading at $14 and the company's earnings per share (EPS) is $2. Therefore, Big Store's price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) is $14/$2 = 7. This number -- "7" -- is known as a multiple.

Here's how you could use it in your analysis:

Assume the average P/E ratio for the companies in Big Store's industry is 10. By applying the average industry multiple to Big Store's earnings per share (EPS), you can estimate the price Big Store "should" be trading at a higher price. Here's the calculation:

Price = EPS * Multiple

Price = $2 * 10 = $20

In this example, it appears that Big Store's stock price should be trading at $20 instead of $14. If your analysis is correct, you would want to buy the company today and wait for the price to adjust to where it "should" be, locking in a healthy $6 gain.

Why It Matters

You can apply a multiple to any number of performance measures, but some of the most common include EPS, EBITDA, book value and revenue.

Investors use multiples to gain some insight into whether a company's stock price is too high or too low.

Multiples are quick, but limited tools for stock analysis. They can provide a snapshot of a stock’s potential without getting bogged down in the details of the financial statements.

Unfortunately, most of the useful details are in the financial statements. For example, Big Store may trade at a lower multiple relative to its peers because it isn't growing as fast. Or perhaps its management team is not as effective. If you only use the earnings multiple to estimate the stock's intrinsic value, you're working without 99.9% of the available information.

The bottom line is that multiples can be complementary tools in your financial toolbox. However, they should never be the only tools you use.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of multiple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: more than one

: shared by many people



English Language Learners Definition of multiple (Entry 2 of 2)

mathematics : a number that can be produced by multiplying a smaller number


mul·​ti·​ple | \ ˈməl-tə-pəl \

Kids Definition of multiple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: being or consisting of more than one We need multiple copies.



Kids Definition of multiple (Entry 2 of 2)

: the number found by multiplying one number by another 35 is a multiple of 7.

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mul·​ti·​ple | \ ˈməl-tə-pəl \

Medical Definition of multiple

1 : consisting of, including, or involving more than one multiple births
2 : affecting many parts of the body at once

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More from Merriam-Webster on multiple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for multiple

Spanish Central: Translation of multiple

Nglish: Translation of multiple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of multiple for Arabic Speakers

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