multiplicity

noun
mul·​ti·​plic·​i·​ty | \ ˌməl-tə-ˈpli-sə-tē How to pronounce multiplicity (audio) \
plural multiplicities

Definition of multiplicity

1a : the quality or state of being multiple or various
b : the number of components in a system (such as a multiplet or a group of energy levels)
2 : a great number
3 : the number of times a root of an equation or zero of a function occurs when there is more than one root or zero the multiplicity of x = 2 for the equation (x − 2)3 = 0 is 3

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Examples of multiplicity in a Sentence

a multiplicity of suggestions for turning the company around Shakespeare's works seem to encompass the full multiplicity of human experience.

Recent Examples on the Web

Lastly, having such a multiplicity of tax heads is a recipe for inefficiency. Shoaib Daniyal, Quartz India, "Various cesses levied by the Modi government are squeezing Indian state budgets," 23 Aug. 2019 Newsletter Sign-up There’s a multiplicity of things. Chris Kornelis, WSJ, "Mo Willems Prepares Another ‘Pigeon’ Book," 26 June 2019 After the first few saccharine numbers, the show settles into playful pastiches of a multiplicity of styles, from a jazzy strut to country, from cabaret to calypso. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: Quirky, cheeky ‘Dreamcoat’ kicks up some fun at Tri-Valley Rep," 25 July 2019 Its sprawling, predominantly female cast reflected the demographics of the prison system itself, with a multiplicity of races, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Prescience of Orange Is the New Black," 25 July 2019 For many, the book has come to symbolize how an ideal of multiplicity—of religion, of ethnicity, of culture—can survive, if only enough people care. David Degner, Smithsonian, "Two Tour Guides—One Israeli, One Palestinian—Offer a New Way to See the Holy Land," 9 July 2019 Vanderbilt's offensive strength lies in its multiplicity of offensive weapons, but JJ Bleday is the clear headliner. Eric Single, SI.com, "Three Questions That Will Decide the College World Series Winner," 24 June 2019 As De Kooning worked and reworked the piece of cardboard, built it up and scraped it down all summer, perhaps his conversations with Buckminster Fuller, John Cage and Merce Cunningham slipped into the work, amplifying its multiplicity. Harry Cooper, WSJ, "Painting With a Bebop Spirit," 21 June 2019 Chapter 1 is a meditation on the meaning and multiplicity of time. Robert M. Thorson, WSJ, "‘Timefulness’ Review: Thinking in Eons," 30 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'multiplicity.' 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 multiplicity

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for multiplicity

Middle English, from Middle French multiplicité, from Late Latin multiplicitat-, multiplicitas, from Latin multiplic-, multiplex

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Statistics for multiplicity

Last Updated

30 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for multiplicity

The first known use of multiplicity was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for multiplicity

multiplicity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of multiplicity

formal : a very large number

multiplicity

noun
mul·​ti·​plic·​i·​ty | \ ˌməl-tə-ˈplis-ət-ē How to pronounce multiplicity (audio) \
plural multiplicities

Medical Definition of multiplicity

1 : the quality or state of being multiple or various
2 : the ratio of the number of infectious particles (as of a bacteriophage) to the number of cells at risk monolayer cultures…were infected at an effective multiplicity of approximately 100— J. J. Holland

multiplicity

noun
mul·​ti·​plic·​i·​ty | \ ˌməl-tə-ˈpli-sə-tē How to pronounce multiplicity (audio) \
plural multiplicities

Legal Definition of multiplicity

1a : the quality or state of being multiple or various
b : the charging of a single criminal act or offense as multiple separate charges or counts of an indictment or information multiplicity does not require dismissal of the indictment— W. R. LaFave and J. H. Israel — compare duplicity sense 2, misjoinder

Note: Multiplicity raises the risk of violating the double jeopardy protection against receiving multiple sentences for a single offense. Multiplicity is a defect that can be corrected without dismissal of the case.

2 : a great number joinder is allowed to avoid a multiplicity of actions

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