from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Being one of a large indefinite number; numerous: many a child; many another day.
- adj. Amounting to or consisting of a large indefinite number: many friends.
- n. A large indefinite number: A good many of the workers had the flu.
- n. The majority of the people; the masses: "The many fail, the one succeeds” ( Tennyson).
- pro. A large number of persons or things: "For many are called, but few are chosen” ( Matthew 22:14).
- idiom as many The same number of: moved three times in as many years.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A multitude; a great aggregate; a mass of people; the generality; the common herd.
- n. A considerable number.
- An indefinite large number of.
- pro. A collective mass of people.
- pro. An indefinite large number of people or things.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A retinue of servants; a household.
- adj. Consisting of a great number; numerous; not few.
- n. The populace; the common people; the majority of people, or of a community.
- n. A large or considerable number.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Being or consisting of a large number of units or individuals; numerous: often used alone, the noun being understood. See many, n.
- Being one of a large number; belonging to an aggregate or category, considered singly as one of a kind: followed by a, an, or another, used distributively. The phrase many a one, so used, was formerly many one without the article.
- Being of a certain number, large or small; plural (especially in the phrase the many as opposed to the one): after a term of qualification (as, so, too, and especially how in interrogations): often with the qualified noun omitted: as, how many people were there? how many will go? as many as the room will hold; not so many as before; too many men are dishonest.
- Such a number indefinitely or distributively: as, he took so many of these, and so many of those, and so many of the others.
- n. A multitude; a great aggregate; specifically, the mass of people; the generality; the common herd.
- n. A considerable number: with the indefinite article, and followed by of expressed or understood.
- n. [The phrase a many (as well as a pretty many) is now rare or colloquial; yet a good many and a great many are still in common use.]
- n. See meiny.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. a quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by `as' or `too' or `so' or `that'; amounting to a large but indefinite number
Middle English, from Old English manig.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English manye, *menye, from Old English manigeo, menigu ("company, multitude, host"), from Proto-Germanic *managō, *managīn (“multitude”). Cognate with Middle Low German menige, menie, menje ("multitude"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English many, mani, moni, from Old English maniġ, moniġ, maneġ ("many"), from Proto-Germanic *managaz (“some, much, many”), from Proto-Indo-European *monogʰo- (“many”). (Wiktionary)