myriad

noun
myr·​i·​ad | \ ˈmir-ē-əd How to pronounce myriad (audio) \

Definition of myriad

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : ten thousand
2 : a great number a myriad of ideas

myriad

adjective

Definition of myriad (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : innumerable those myriad problems also : both numerous and diverse myriad topics
2 : having innumerable aspects or elements the myriad activity of the new land— Meridel Le Sueur

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Is myriad a noun?: Usage Guide

Noun

Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it.

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Noun

In English, the "ten thousand" sense of myriad mostly appears in references to Ancient Greece, such as the following from English historian Connop Thirwall's History of Greece: "4000 men from Peloponnesus had fought at Thermopylae with 300 myriads." More often, English speakers use myriad in the broad sense—both as a singular noun ("a myriad of tiny particles") and a plural noun ("myriads of tiny particles"). Myriad can also serve as an adjective meaning "innumerable" ("myriad particles"). While some usage commentators criticize the noun use, it's been firmly established in English since the 16th century, and in fact is about 200 years older than the adjective. Myriad comes from Greek myrias, which in turn comes from myrioi, meaning "countless" or "ten thousand."

Examples of myriad in a Sentence

Noun Mr. McCullough hails Adams for being uncannily prescient … foreseeing a myriad of developments, from the difficulty of defeating the British … to the divisive consequences of slavery. — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, 22 May 2001 Sectarian Protestantism reinforced both American individualism and the tendency of the society to be self-organizing in a myriad of voluntary associations and communities. — Francis Fukuyama, Atlantic, May 1999 Out in the barrios, under the nipa palms, he listened to the myriads of humming cicadas and the call of the geckos. — Nina FitzPatrick, Fables of the Irish Intelligentsia, 1991 To read Marie Corelli, you had to be able to follow several hundred printed words at a time, and there were myriads in England who were up to it. — Hugh Kenner, A Sinking Island, 1987 … laced his fingers behind his head and stared at the myriads of tiny colored dots that make up darkness. — John Steinbeck, East of Eden, 1952 There are a myriad of possibilities. the car can be outfitted with a myriad of options Adjective … the more quotations that could be found, the more easily the subtle differences between the (possibly) myriad usages and meanings of any single word could be identified. This is how historical dictionaries are made … — Simon Winchester, The Meaning of Everything, 2003 The age of white guilt, with its myriad corruptions and its almost racist blindness to minority individuality, may someday go down like the age of racism went down … — Shelby Steele, Harper's, November 2002 World War II accelerated the progress of science and technology into the microcosm. Scientists and technologists played tag with one another in their search for microscopic control. With mathematics and myriad theories, they defined a new microcosm. — Joseph A. Amato, Dust, 2000 The old system's problems were myriad. the myriad problems that today's cities face
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But their efforts, which included dozens of letters and phone calls to the Landmarks Commission, a myriad of social media posts and an online petition, was not enough to sway commissioners. Eric Heisig, cleveland, 27 May 2021 Allergic reactions to milk are somewhat similar and can encompass wheezing, vomiting, hives, and a myriad of digestive problems. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 24 May 2021 In post-pandemic times, warehouse operations strive to keep up with growing demands, labor issues and a myriad of additional constraints. John Hayes, Forbes, 6 May 2021 The Great House, which became a museum in 1949 and a National Historic Landmark in 1998, has hosted tours, concerts, weddings, and a myriad of other special events over the years. BostonGlobe.com, 29 Apr. 2021 The climb represents the company’s strong commitment to growing Dupixent across indications, a myriad of positive clinical data readouts, multiple regulatory approvals, and a strong financial performance in 2020. Fortune, 16 Apr. 2021 Pearpop is essentially a market between popular celebrities on TikTok and a myriad of other creators — like upcoming musicians or influencers — looking to pay for collaborations or engagement on TikTok to grow their own audiences. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 15 Apr. 2021 The Goodtime Hotel is brimming with tropical murals and a myriad of coral and other pastel-forward colors. Danielle Harling, House Beautiful, 11 Apr. 2021 Crafts, art projects, computer club, workshop, library, exercise programs, all starting in the early years have expanded in later years to a gym and a pool as well as a myriad of other interests. Hermine Saunders, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 11 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To be fair to residents making inquiries, water quality permits and stormwater management are related in myriad ways, since construction that affects wetlands, surface permeability, steam lag times, sediment loads and vegetation will impact both. cleveland, 5 June 2021 State health officials initially hoped to attribute the spike to the pandemic, which impacted people in myriad unhealthy ways. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al, 30 May 2021 Taddeo has tried to reckon with her anxiety in myriad ways. Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2021 In actuality, skin cancer can present in myriad ways and some forms of melanoma don't originate from sun damage at all. Magdalene Taylor, Allure, 26 May 2021 More unexpected in the Menil exhibition are the myriad ways in which artists accustomed to unrealized dreams set out to make an impact without depending on philanthropy or permission: to expose the colossal challenges underlying monumental art. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Her seminal work, the Racist Sandwich podcast, covered the myriad ways in which food intersects with race, class, and gender. Erika Carlos, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 May 2021 Italy is honoring Dante Alighieri — who died in exile from Florence on Sept. 13, 1321 — in myriad ways on the 700th anniversary of his death. Colleen Barry, Star Tribune, 22 May 2021 Italy is honoring Dante Alighieri — who died in exile from Florence on Sept. 13, 1321 — in myriad ways on the 700th anniversary of his death. BostonGlobe.com, 22 May 2021

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

Noun

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1735, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for myriad

Noun and Adjective

Greek myriad-, myrias, from myrioi countless, ten thousand

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Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Myriad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/myriad. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for myriad

myriad

noun

English Language Learners Definition of myriad

 (Entry 1 of 2)

somewhat formal : a very large number of things

myriad

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of myriad (Entry 2 of 2)

somewhat formal : very many

myriad

noun
myr·​i·​ad | \ ˈmir-ē-əd How to pronounce myriad (audio) \

Kids Definition of myriad

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very large number of things a myriad of possibilities myriads of stars

myriad

adjective

Kids Definition of myriad (Entry 2 of 2)

: many in number : extremely numerous Underneath the heaps were all the myriad little … things …— Lynne Reid Banks, The Indian in the Cupboard

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