umpteen

play
adjective ump·teen \ ˈəm(p)-ˌtēn , ˌəm(p)-ˈtēn \

Definition of umpteen

:very many :indefinitely numerous

umpteenth

play \ˈəm(p)-ˌtēn(t)th, ˌəm(p)-ˈtēn(t)th\ adjective

umpteen was our Word of the Day on 05/21/2015. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of umpteen from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'umpteen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

I'll go to bed and I'll not get up for umpty-eleven months. You know the feeling. The speaker here is war-weary Bill, a character in Patrick MacGill's early 20th-century novel The Great Push. His "umpty" originated as military slang around 1905 and stood for an indefinite number, generally largish. (It was probably created by analogy to actual numbers such as "twenty.") Soon, there followed "umpteen," blending "umpty" and "-teen." "Umpteen" usually describes an indefinite and large number or amount, while the related "umpteenth" is used for the latest or last in an indefinitely numerous series. We only occasionally use "umpty" these days (and even more rarely "umptieth"), but you're bound to hear or read "umpteen" and "umpteenth" any number of times.

Origin and Etymology of umpteen

blend of umpty (such and such) and -teen (as in thirteen)


UMPTEEN Defined for English Language Learners

umpteen

play
adjective

Definition of umpteen for English Language Learners

  • : very many


Learn More about umpteen


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up umpteen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!