Definition of number
1a (1) : a sum of units : total the number of people in the hall (2) : complement 1b … the whole number of Senators … — U.S. Constitution (3) : an indefinite usually large total a number of members were absent the number of elderly is rising (4) numbers plural : a numerous group : many numbers died on the way — Marjory S. Douglas (5) : a numerical preponderance (see preponderance 2) There's safety in numbers.b (1) : the characteristic of an individual by which it is treated as a unit or of a collection by which it is treated in terms of units there is a limited number of such laboratories — P. D. Close (2) : an ascertainable total bugs beyond numberc (1) : a unit belonging to an abstract mathematical system and subject to specified laws of succession, addition, and multiplication a number divisible by 2; especially : natural number (2) : an element (as π) of any of many mathematical systems obtained by extension of or analogy with the natural number system (3) numbers plural : arithmetic Teach children their numbers.
2 : a distinction of word form to denote reference to one or more than one A subject and its verb should agree in number.; also : a form or group of forms so distinguished
3 numbers plural a (1) : metrical structure : meter … most by numbers judge a poet's song. — Alexander Pope (2) : metrical lines : verses These numbers will I tear, and write in prose. — Shakespeareb archaic : musical sounds : notes
4a : a word, symbol, letter, or combination of symbols representing a number Spell out the numbers one through ten.b : a numeral or combination of numerals or other symbols used to identify or designate dialed the wrong numberc (1) : a member of a sequence or collection designated by especially consecutive numbers (as an issue of a periodical) just received issue number 8 of the magazine (2) : a position in a numbered sequence You're number 7 on the waiting list.d : a group of one kind not of their number
5 : one singled out from a group : individual: such asa : girl, woman met an attractive number at the danceb (1) : a musical, theatrical, or literary selection or production The actors broke into a song and dance number. (2) : routine, act The comedian's number had the audience laughing out loud.c : stunt, trickd : an act of transforming or impairing tripped and did a number on her kneee : an item of merchandise and especially clothing put that black velvet number with the sequins on the blonde dummy — Bennett Cerf
6 : insight into a person's ability or character had my number
7 numbers plural in form but singular or plural in construction a : a form of lottery in which an individual wagers on the appearance of a certain combination of digits (as in regularly published numbers) —called also numbers gameb : ^{2}policy 2a
8 numbers plural a : figures representing amounts of money usually in dollars spent, earned, or involved We won't be able to stay in business with numbers like these.b (1) : statistics 2; especially : individual statistics (as of an athlete) Her numbers make her the most valuable member of the team. (2) : rating 3c
by the numbers
amount vs. number
Number is regularly used with count nouns a large number of mistakes any number of times while amount is mainly used with mass nouns annual amount of rainfall a substantial amount of money. The use of amount with count nouns has been frequently criticized; it usually occurs when the number of things is thought of as a mass or collection glad to furnish any amount of black pebbles — New Yorker a substantial amount of film offers — Lily Tomlin or when money is involved a substantial amount of loans — E. R. Black.
Examples of number in a sentence
the numbers and letters on a license plate
a threedigit number like 429
Think of a number between one and one hundred.
The number 7{frac3 is greater than the number 7.25.
2, 4, 6, and 8 are even numbers; 1, 3, 5, and 7 are odd numbers.
Never give out your credit card number to anyone over the phone.
What's the account number on your electricity bill?
The page numbers are on the top corner of each page.
Today's winning lottery numbers are 17, 8, and 46.
I'm waiting for the number 3 bus.
Origin and Etymology of number
Middle English nombre, from AngloFrench, from Latin numerus
First Known Use: 14th century
Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms
number
Definition of number
numbered
;numbering
play \ˈnəmb(ə)riŋ\Examples of number in a sentence
She numbers and arranges the photographs according to when they were taken.
Each print is signed and numbered by the artist.
The team's coach bought all the players numbered jerseys.
In that year, European settlers in the area numbered nearly 15,000.
The animal, which once numbered in the millions, is now extinct.
He numbers her with the other great poets of the time.
Origin and Etymology of number
see ^{1}number
First Known Use: 14th century
NUMBER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of number for English Language Learners

: a word or symbol (such as “five” or “16”) that represents a specific amount or quantity

: a number or a set of numbers and other symbols that is used to identify a person or thing

: a person who is identified by a number and not treated in a personal or friendly way
number
Definition of number for English Language Learners

: to give a number to (someone or something in a series) : to label or identify (people or things in a series) with a number

: to include (someone or something) as part of a larger group
NUMBER Defined for Kids
Definition of number for Students
1 : the total of persons, things, or units taken together : amount What is the number of people in the room?
2 : a total that is not specified … the mermaids come up in extraordinary numbers to play with their bubbles. — J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan
3 : a unit belonging to a mathematical system and subject to its rules Tell me a number divisible by 2.
4 : a word, symbol, or letter used to represent a mathematical number : numeral the number 5
5 : a certain numeral for telling one person or thing from another or from others a house number
6 : a quality of a word form that shows whether the word is singular or plural A verb agrees in number with its subject.
7 : one of a series You're number seven on the waiting list.
8 : a song or dance usually that is part of a larger performance The band played a catchy number.
Definition of number for Students
numbered
;numbering
Learn More about number

See words that rhyme with number Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for number Spanish Central: Translation of number Nglish: Translation of number for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of number for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about number
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