mul·​ti·​ple | \ ˈməl-tə-pəl How to pronounce multiple (audio) \

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

Guest passes: $4 adults/$3 seniors for city residents; $10 for non-residents (closed to non-residents on Thursdays) Play features include multiple water slides, sprayground, current channel, and separate infant pool., "Public pools and splash pads in Cleveland where you can cool off during the summer heat wave," 16 July 2019 Since then, according to authorities, multiple shots have been fired at authorities. Carol Robinson |,, "Multiple shots fired at U.S. Marshals, deputies during standoff; suspect dead from self-inflicted gunshot wound," 16 July 2019 According to a witness, a vehicle was circling a 47-year-old man when multiple shots were fired. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Police: 2 men die after separate shootings in Detroit," 14 July 2019 Durant didn’t believe the Warriors were sacrificing enough in a straight up deal for Russell, so multiple sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that Durant insisted his new team also receive a draft choice. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "Report: Kevin Durant forced Warriors to give Nets a first-round pick in sign-and-trade," 11 July 2019 The video released by police shows the suspect firing multiple shots before running into a nearby alleyway. Laurel Demkovich, Washington Post, "Police searching for suspect who shot at officer early Thursday morning," 10 July 2019 The incident occurred near a bus stop at 35th Avenue and Indian School Road around 9:40 p.m. when multiple gun shots were fired from a vehicle, Phoenix police spokesman Luis A. Samudio said. Aubrey Carpenter, azcentral, "3 injured in drive-by shooting at bus stop near 35th Avenue, Indian School Road," 8 July 2019 The internet provides multiple sources for information. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "Local station wants to be source for limited English speaking communities before and after a crisis," 7 July 2019 All issues after that will be republished content culled from 67 years of publication, and MAD will continue to publish books and special collections, multiple sources told The Post. Michael Cavna,, "MAD magazine, a pioneer of modern satire, will soon cease publishing new content," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These are usually a multiple of your annual salary. Liz Weston,, "Ready to retire? If you’ve saved 8 times your salary by age 60, maybe," 30 June 2019 The 12 catalogs -- adding up to 3,096 songs in total -- were acquired for approximately £120 million ($153 million), equivalent to a blended multiple of 12.75x historical annual net income. Richard Smirke, Billboard, "Hipgnosis Reports Solid Growth in Maiden Financial Results: Hit Songs Are as 'Investable as Gold or Oil'," 24 June 2019 The Boston Red Sox tagged each of them for multiple runs in cruising to a 13-2 series-opening victory. Nathan Ruiz,, "Red Sox hit six homers, blast Orioles, 13-2, to open series," 14 June 2019 Watson, a big-hitting lefty who also won the Travelers Championship in 2010 and 2015, joins Phil Mickelson, a southpaw who is returning to the event for the first time since 2002, as left-handed players who have multiple wins in Cromwell. Kevin Vellturo,, "Does the Travelers Championship course set up better for left-handed players?," 14 June 2019 She also that the music publishing sector has long been the most bankable part of the industry to Wall Street, with publishing catalogs trading at higher multiples than record labels. Ed Christman, Billboard, "NMPA Announces New Board, $100K Donation to She Is The Music at Annual Meeting," 13 June 2019 There were multiple options, but the district wasn’t open to listening to any of those. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Escondido Union School District ordered to increase special education staffing," 11 June 2019 However, Prince Philip has been seen in public multiple times in the past year, often driving his car (despite a scary car accident in January that resulted in him voluntarily giving up his license) or carriage rides. Stephanie Petit,, "Here's Why Prince Philip Was Missing from Trooping the Colour Today," 8 June 2019 April through mid-June normally is peak catfish spawning season, so the research project involves multiple monitoring trips during that period. Shannon Tompkins,, "Fish in a barrel, or how to spawn cats in a small lake," 6 June 2019

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

19 Jul 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 How to pronounce multiple (audio) \

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 How to pronounce multiple (audio) \

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

Comments on multiple

What made you want to look up multiple? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

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