mul·​ti·​ply | \ ˈməl-tə-ˌplī How to pronounce multiply (audio) \
multiplied; multiplying

Definition of multiply

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to increase in number especially greatly or in multiples : augment
2a : to find the product of by multiplication multiply 7 and 8
b : to use as a multiplicand in multiplication with another number multiply 7 by 8

intransitive verb

1a : to become greater in number : spread
2 : to perform multiplication


mul·​ti·​ply | \ ˈməl-tə-plē How to pronounce multiply (audio) \

Definition of multiply (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a multiple manner : in several ways multiply talented children


mul·​ti-ply | \ ˌməl-tē-ˈplī How to pronounce multi-ply (audio) , -ˌtī- \

Definition of multi-ply (Entry 3 of 3)

: composed of several plies

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Synonyms for multiply

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for multiply


increase, enlarge, augment, multiply mean to make or become greater. increase used intransitively implies progressive growth in size, amount, or intensity his waistline increased with age ; used transitively it may imply simple not necessarily progressive addition. increased her landholdings enlarge implies expansion or extension that makes greater in size or capacity. enlarged the kitchen augment implies addition to what is already well grown or well developed. the inheritance augmented his fortune multiply implies increase in number by natural generation or by indefinite repetition of a process. with each attempt the problems multiplied

Examples of multiply in a Sentence

Verb Complaints about the new procedure soon multiplied. Her responsibilities multiplied when she was promoted. Her responsibilities were multiplied by the promotion. The bacteria multiply rapidly in warm, moist conditions. The teacher taught the children how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The most common means for determining the fundamental value of a business before negotiations are to multiply the average monthly net profit over a year by 35x – 65x. Mike Swigunski, Forbes, 14 June 2021 That is a problem because that small amount of virus can multiply and become highly transmissible. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 June 2021 Her first check from Arbonne covered a monthly car payment, and the money continued to multiply. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 24 May 2021 Health officials and scientists say two coronavirus variants caused infections to multiply quickly in many instances. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, 19 May 2021 Many of the schemes promised that a celebrity associated with cryptocurrency would multiply and return any coins the consumer sent to their digital wallet. Fortune, 19 May 2021 Part of a group of medicines called protease inhibitors, which are used to treat HIV and Hepatitis C, the drug curbs production of enzymes needed for the virus to multiply in human cells. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 28 Apr. 2021 Pandemic modeling suggests that Minnesota has nearly reached herd immunity, meaning that the virus is struggling to spread and multiply, said Curtis Storlie, co-creator of Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 forecasting model. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, 24 May 2021 Other models might be looking for a near-replica under their own control, or virtual versions that can multiply their earning potential. John Koetsier, Forbes, 11 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Invite only those team members into your solar system who will accelerate gravitational pull, tighten the group at each turn and force multiply each team member in becoming one singularity. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 16 June 2021 Our responsibility is to take that which has been given and multiply. Dallas News, 9 June 2021 Like other Southeast Asian megacities, Jakarta saw cars multiply as urban planners failed to build enough roads and public transportation. David Pierson, Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2021 The risk of making specific entities’ failure everyone else’s responsibility is that calls for rescue and promises to provide it multiply, as firms return with new requests after the initial support. Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., Forbes, 24 May 2021 Bed bugs multiply at a rapid rate and can hide from many home remedies. Washington Post, 30 Apr. 2021 Many people learned about exponential growth in the early days of the pandemic to understand how a small number of cases can quickly grow into a major outbreak as transmission chains multiply. Zoë Mclaren, Star Tribune, 30 Apr. 2021 Over the past decade, Tristia Bauman, an attorney at the center, has seen the regulations multiply. Jessica Bruder, Star Tribune, 26 Apr. 2021 This was her third attempt to get help from the country’s rescue team against natural disasters, which, as extreme weather events multiply, has also become its de facto rescue team against climate change. Hannah Dreier, Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2021

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1881, in the meaning defined above


1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for multiply


Middle English multiplien, from Anglo-French multiplier, from Latin multiplicare, from multiplic-, multiplex multiple

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Learn More About multiply

Time Traveler for multiply

Time Traveler

The first known use of multiply was in the 13th century

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Statistics for multiply

Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Multiply.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for multiply



English Language Learners Definition of multiply

: to increase greatly in number or amount : to become much more numerous
: to cause (something) to increase greatly in number or amount
: to increase in number by reproducing


mul·​ti·​ply | \ ˈməl-tə-ˌplī How to pronounce multiply (audio) \
multiplied; multiplying

Kids Definition of multiply

1 : to increase in number : make or become more numerous His worries multiplied.
2 : to find the product of by means of multiplication Multiply 7 by 8.


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