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

As the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale pointed out on Twitter, the president has actually been claiming as of late that car plants will be opening in multiple states, including Michigan and Ohio. Emily Stewart, Vox, "GM is closing plants and cutting jobs. Here’s what it means for workers — and for Trump.," 26 Nov. 2018 The mysterious contender donned a black dress, combat boots, dark makeup, and multiple lip rings. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'American Idol' Winner Maddie Poppe Is Unrecognizable in the New Season," 24 Mar. 2019 Do this five-part mini band circuit that targets your butt from multiple angles. Amy Marturana, SELF, "Why Everyone Should Own a Set of Mini Resistance Bands," 24 Mar. 2019 Going in multiple directions with your razor can lead to cuts and those unwanted ingrown hairs. Megan Gustashaw, Glamour, "So You Want to Shave Your Bikini Line...," 23 Mar. 2019 Here's the story, of a lovely lady, who was running multiple major HGTV shows while bringing up two very lovely kids... Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Christina Anstead and Ant Anstead Are Having a Baby, and People Are Freaking Out," 22 Mar. 2019 There were 21 people working in the 118-foot-tall support gantry, a massive steel structure with multiple levels that engineers and techs use to make the final preparations. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Can the U.S. Save Alcantara, Brazil’s Cursed Spaceport?," 20 Mar. 2019 More than 2,000 homes and roughly 340 businesses have been damaged or lost, according to state officials, and flooding has left multiple communities without drinking... Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Nebraska Pushes for Federal Funds as Flood Damage Escalates," 20 Mar. 2019 If nothing else, the transition to the 9th-gen mobile chips will help put to rest the confusion associated with the 8th-gen Core, which included multiple iterations of Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake chips. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel promises 9th-gen mobile Core processors will arrive 'very, very soon'," 20 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That compares to a multiple of roughly 12 times Ebitda on Fiserv’s acquisition of First Data. Aaron Back, WSJ, "Paying Up for Worldpay Might Make Sense," 18 Mar. 2019 The outerwear was similar to the many green army coats the duchess owns, but, of course, this isn't the first time Kate's bought multiples of something. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wore an Army Green Fjallraven Jacket for Her Return From Maternity Leave," 2 Oct. 2018 The drive-by-wire steering and transmission paired with the VC-Turbo engine and multiple driving modes make for an engaging vehicle that is fun to drive and handles nicely. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Variable-compression engine meets crossover: Infiniti QX50 review," 8 Nov. 2018 Research suggests that nearly 20 percent of pregnant women are prescribed bed rest each year, for diagnoses ranging from preeclampsia and preterm labor to simply being pregnant with multiples. Aileen Weintraub, Glamour, "My High-Risk Pregnancy Almost Plunged Me Into Financial Ruin," 11 May 2018 But having multiple and getting higher special and temporal resolution has a lot of science implications. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The First Interplanetary CubeSats Are Set to Fly to Mars," 3 May 2018 Starbucks did not return an immediate request for comment and multiple calls to the Center City location were met with busy signals Saturday morning. Patricia Madej,, "Video of two people being removed from a Philadelphia Starbucks draws outrage, investigation," 14 Apr. 2018 Sale prices and multiples are reported through unnamed sources, who may or may not be using the press to influence valuations rather than report them. Matthew Smith, Billboard, "Information Is Power: Why the Music Business Is Still Broken For Artists, And How to Fix It (Guest Op-Ed)," 5 Apr. 2018 And to be fair, Google parent company Alphabet has also struggled at times with the reality of running multiple, money-losing divisions oriented around long-term bets. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Facebook fractures its secretive hardware division," 14 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 Apr 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).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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