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 Perez and Baeza will discuss the multiplicity of Latinx and Chicano identity politics manifested in their artwork. courant.com, "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 11 Sep. 2020 Doling out national exposure to a multiplicity of appealing political personalities seemed an ideal way to keep the Democratic brand fresh. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "On a night of sales pitches and political star power, health-care activist Ady Barkan kept it real," 19 Aug. 2020 Features such as the Forum and Readings are explicitly aimed at bringing together a multiplicity of views, many of which our editors don’t share. Christopher Beha, Harper's Magazine, "Fighting Words," 18 Aug. 2020 There, a multiplicity of small extremist parties form and break coalitions to select heads of state, often without transparency. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Democrats Are Waging War against Tradition and the Constitution," 13 Aug. 2020 Figured here as a multiplicity of selves, her too muchness veers from coherence to tumult. Rachelvoronacote, Longreads, "Carly Rae Jepsen’s Exhilarating, Emotionally Intelligent Pop Music," 10 Aug. 2020 The gallery of African, American and European characters, converging at a missionary hospital in the outback of the unnamed African colony, gives Hansberry a broad canvas to lay out a multiplicity of viewpoints. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "These works by Richard Nelson and Lorraine Hansberry are some of the best plays online now," 8 July 2020 Overall, Baun’s ceiling may not be quite as high as Chaisson’s, but his floor is significantly higher and his versatility could be the key to unlocking front-seven multiplicity in Nolan’s Cowboys defense. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 4 best-case scenarios for the Dallas Cowboys in Round 1 of the 2020 NFL draft," 22 Apr. 2020 Utah’s Terrell Burgess, similarly, could defend both run and pass in various defensive packages as new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan looks for multiplicity. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Cowboys have plenty of options at cornerback, safety, edge rusher on Day 2 of 2020 NFL draft," 24 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for multiplicity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for multiplicity

Last Updated

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Multiplicity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/multiplicity. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for multiplicity

multiplicity

noun
How to pronounce multiplicity (audio)

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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Comments on multiplicity

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