from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Amounting to or consisting of a large indefinite number.
  • adjective Being one of a large indefinite number; numerous.
  • noun The majority of the people; the masses.
  • noun A large indefinite number.
  • pronoun A large number of persons or things.
  • idiom (as many) The same number of.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A multitude; a great aggregate; specifically, the mass of people; the generality; the common herd.
  • noun A considerable number: with the indefinite article, and followed by of expressed or understood.
  • noun [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.]
  • noun See meiny.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A retinue of servants; a household.
  • adjective Consisting of a great number; numerous; not few.
  • adjective a large number taken distributively; each one of many.
  • adjective many a one; many persons.
  • adjective the majority; -- opposed to the few. See Many, n.
  • adjective too numerous; hence, too powerful.
  • noun The populace; the common people; the majority of people, or of a community.
  • noun A large or considerable number.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A multitude; a great aggregate; a mass of people; the generality; the common herd.
  • noun A considerable number.
  • determiner An indefinite large number of.
  • pronoun A collective mass of people.
  • pronoun An indefinite large number of people or things.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective 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


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English manig; see menegh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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”).


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