Definitions

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.
  • Much.
  • 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

Etymologies

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)

Examples

  • Too many people are greedy with this space..many times I've arrived at my seat and found no room for my own shopping bag or cabin bag in the old fashion sense of the 60's..

    The Teaser

  • Sony does have higher prices many/most times..but if you use inkmesh and narrow down to epub by selecting Sony Reader on the left side..many times Sony's prices are right there with everyone else.

    Sony Daily Edition (PRS 900) Review

  • Re the maggot story: many *many* adjectives spring to mind, but I'm going to go with "resourceful"...

    Boy, do I feel stupid.

  • Acknowledging the necessity to work with others; getting the guts to ask for help in order to preclude slamming one's head against the wall for extended amounts of time; finding two, three or even more ways to tackle a problem, whether it be literally in homework or otherwise in managing life and time; learning many, _many_ subtle things that you certainly won't regret learning as you tackle challenges in the future.

    Failing Students

  • Like Brian said, he falls right in there with many of the greats Bill Tucci, Joe Jusko, EBAS, …..many more with his awesome, yet humble attitude.

    Interview: Al Rio | Major Spoilers - Comic Book Reviews and News

  • Seems like many *many* people who come for the party decide to crash on the floor afterwards.

    political crosstitch pieces! (update post 3!)

  • An essential argument to have a truly free market is there are many customers who can choose between many goods from *many* competing sellers.

    Mouse Print»Blog Archive » Ace Ticket: “Great” Prices for Red Sox Tickets?

  • Motherships..sheesh, at least people here use facts,,I have shown you many false prophecies by many ‘nutbags’..many of them like Robertson, Falwell, Rushdoonie, Hagee and their Iraq war for Jesus end times insanity and I posted them because I do NOT run my life by them and people should not listen to Hagee and these other War, death and blodd for the return of Jesus ‘nutbags’

    Think Progress » EMAILS: Bush Officials Blocked Scientist From Discussing Global Warming/Hurricane Link

  • Thottbot at least has the potential to be a truly comprehensive data source for that kind of analysis, in fact now that I think of it I find myself wishing something like this had existed for Camelot, it would have saved me many, *many* hours of gathering data on how the combat system was actually performing which was very different from how the programmers thought it worked.

    Automated Expertise Management

  • You remember when I asked you five times ... maybe six  times, if you would tell me a number; how many victims ... how many  people.

    TEDBUNDY

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