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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bats are often asymptomatic hosts of coronaviruses, but goblet cells in humans can provide an ideal environment for pathogens to multiply. Eleanor Cummins, Science, 4 Dec. 2020 But there’s an even more pressing concern connecting the two: Building shut-downs through the spring and summer have left warm water stagnant in pipes — a perfect environment for Legionella to multiply. Lynne Peeples Ensia, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Oct. 2020 Some antiviral drugs work by inhibiting this replication so that the virus cannot multiply. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, 28 Mar. 2020 The theory is that the canine virus will multiply for a limited time in people’s noses, teaching their immune systems to recognize the coronavirus spike protein and block the real pathogen. Carolyn Y. Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Apr. 2022 Iran has been terrorizing the greater Middle East through its proxies, and its nuclear weapons program will multiply the travesty by many orders of magnitude. Shay Khatiri, The Week, 26 Mar. 2022 Crocosmia is a hardy and vigorous plant and will multiply those bulbs in the years to come. oregonlive, 26 Sep. 2021 Monuments to him began to multiply in the early 20th century, when Columbus became a tool for Italian immigrants to argue their claim to American citizenship—and to whiteness. Erin L. Thompson, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Feb. 2022 The technologies, services and experiences designed around the metaverse will only continue to multiply in the coming years, and 2022 will likely be a period of particularly rapid growth. Yec, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb As telematics and sensor devices for homes, vehicles and wearables multiply, insurers have more real-time data about customers. Kannan Amaresh, Forbes, 17 May 2022 If sophisticated brain-computer interfaces eventually transcend medical applications and become consumer goods available to the general public, the ethical considerations surrounding them multiply exponentially. New York Times, 12 May 2022 For gardening outdoors, multiply the length, width and height of your space to calculate the cubic feet, then divide by 27 to determine cubic inches. Brittany Vanderbill, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 May 2022 However, one way some arborists estimate a beech tree’s age is to divide a tree’s circumference in inches by 3.14 (or pi) and multiply by six. Washington Post, 2 May 2022 Following three trans men of color, this short documentary explores the intersectionality between race, gender and identity and the struggles that can come with living authentically as a multiply marginalized person. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, 26 Apr. 2022 Take the quotient and multiply by 1,000, arriving at 743. William Baldwin, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 As the bacteria grow and multiply, their potent poison shuts down energy production. Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 29 Nov. 2010 More difficult, but increasingly crucial as crime shows multiply, is crafting characters and performances with enough depth to keep us coming back. Judy Berman, Time, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for multiply

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near multiply

multiplier onion



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Statistics for multiply

Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Multiply.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for multiply


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on multiply

Nglish: Translation of multiply for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of multiply for Arabic Speakers


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