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

  • n. Mathematics A member of the set of positive integers; one of a series of symbols of unique meaning in a fixed order that can be derived by counting.
  • n. Mathematics A member of any of the further sets of mathematical objects, such as negative integers and real numbers.
  • n. Arithmetic.
  • n. A symbol or word used to represent a number.
  • n. A numeral or a series of numerals used for reference or identification: his telephone number; the apartment number.
  • n. A position in an ordered sequence that corresponds to one of the positive integers: the house that is number three from the corner; ranked number six in her class.
  • n. One item in a group or series considered to be in numerical order: an old number of a magazine.
  • n. A total; a sum: the number of feet in a mile.
  • n. An indefinite quantity of units or individuals: The crowd was small in number. A number of people complained.
  • n. A large quantity; a multitude: Numbers of people visited the fair.
  • n. Numerical superiority: The South had leaders, the North numbers.
  • n. Grammar The indication, as by inflection, of the singularity, duality, or plurality of a linguistic form.
  • n. Metrical feet or lines; verses: "These numbers will I tear, and write in prose” ( Shakespeare).
  • n. Obsolete Poetic meter.
  • n. Archaic Musical periods or measures.
  • n. Games A numbers game.
  • n. See Table at Bible.
  • n. One of the separate offerings in a program of music or other entertainment: The band's second number was a march.
  • n. Slang A frequently repeated, characteristic speech, argument, or performance: suspects doing their usual number—protesting innocence.
  • n. Slang A person or thing singled out for a particular characteristic: a crafty number.
  • transitive v. To assign a number to.
  • transitive v. To determine the number or amount of; count.
  • transitive v. To total in number or amount; add up to.
  • transitive v. To include in a group or category: He was numbered among the lost.
  • transitive v. To mention one by one; enumerate.
  • transitive v. To limit or restrict in number: Our days are numbered.
  • intransitive v. To call off numbers; count: numbering to ten.
  • intransitive v. To constitute a group or number: The applicants numbered in the thousands.
  • idiom by the numbers In unison as numbers are called out by a leader: performing calisthenics by the numbers.
  • idiom by the numbers In a strict, step-by-step or mechanical way.
  • idiom do a number on Slang To defeat, abuse, or humiliate in a calculated and thorough way.
  • idiom get To determine or know someone's real character or motives.
  • idiom without Too many to be counted; countless: mosquitoes without number.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. comparative form of numb: more numb
  • n. An abstract entity used to describe quantity.
  • n. A numeral: a symbol for a non-negative integer
  • n. A member of one of several classes: natural numbers,integers, rational numbers, real numbers, complex numbers, quaternions.
  • n. Indicating the position of something in a list or sequence. Abbreviations: No or No., no or no. (in each case, sometimes written with a superscript "o", like Nº or №). The symbol "#" is also used in this manner.
  • n. Quantity.
  • n. Of a word or phrase, the state of being singular, dual or plural, shown by inflection.
  • n. Poetic metres; verses, rhymes.
  • n. A performance; especially, a single song or song and dance routine within a larger show.
  • n. (informal) A person
  • n. (informal) An item of clothing, particularly a stylish one
  • n. (informal) A telephone number
  • n. A sequence of digits and letters used to register people, automobiles, and various other items.
  • n. A marijuana cigarette, or joint; also, a quantity of marijuana bought form a dealer.
  • v. To label (items) with numbers; to assign numbers to (items).
  • v. To total or count; to amount to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which admits of being counted or reckoned; a unit, or an aggregate of units; a numerable aggregate or collection of individuals; an assemblage made up of distinct things expressible by figures.
  • n. A collection of many individuals; a numerous assemblage; a multitude; many.
  • n. A numeral; a word or character denoting a number.
  • n. Numerousness; multitude.
  • n. The state or quality of being numerable or countable.
  • n. Quantity, regarded as made up of an aggregate of separate things.
  • n. That which is regulated by count; poetic measure, as divisions of time or number of syllables; hence, poetry, verse; -- chiefly used in the plural.
  • n. The distinction of objects, as one, or more than one (in some languages, as one, or two, or more than two), expressed (usually) by a difference in the form of a word; thus, the singular number and the plural number are the names of the forms of a word indicating the objects denoted or referred to by the word as one, or as more than one.
  • n. The measure of the relation between quantities or things of the same kind; that abstract species of quantity which is capable of being expressed by figures; numerical value.
  • transitive v. To count; to reckon; to ascertain the units of; to enumerate.
  • transitive v. To reckon as one of a collection or multitude.
  • transitive v. To give or apply a number or numbers to; to assign the place of in a series by order of number; to designate the place of by a number or numeral.
  • transitive v. To amount; to equal in number; to contain; to consist of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To count; reckon; ascertain the number of, or aggregate of individuals in; enumerate.
  • To make or keep a reckoning of; count up, as by naming or setting down one by one; make a tally or list of.
  • To complete as to number; limit; come to the end of.
  • To reckon as one of a collection or multitude; include in a list or class.
  • To put a number or numbers on; assign a distinctive number to; mark the order of, as of the members of a series; assign the place of in a numbered series: as, to number a row of houses, or a collection of books.
  • To possess to the number of.
  • To amount to; reach the number of: as, the force under the command of Cæsar numbered 45,000 men.
  • To equal in number.
  • Synonyms and To tell, calculate, reckon, call over, sum up.
  • n. That character of a collection or plurality by virtue of which, when the individuals constituting it are counted, the count ends at a certain point—that is, with a certain numeral; also, the point (or numeral) at which the count ends. See def. 3.
  • n. Quantity or amount considered as an aggregate of the individuals composing it; aggregate.
  • n. A numeral, or word used in counting: otherwise called a cardinal number: as, the number that comes after 4 is 5; also, in a wider sense, any numerical expression denoting a quantity, magnitude, or measure.
  • n. A written arithmetical figure or series of figures signifying a numeral.
  • n. A collection; a lot; a class.
  • n. A considerable collection; a large class.
  • n. The capacity of being counted: used especially in the hyperbolical phrase without number.
  • n. A numeral of a series affixed in regular order to a series of things: as, the number of a house in a street.
  • n. One of a series of things distinguished by consecutive numerals: used especially of serial publications.
  • n. The doctrine and properties of numerals and their relations.
  • n. Numerousness; the character of being a large collection: used in this sense both in the singular and in the plural.
  • n. In grammar, that distinctive form which a word assumes according as it is said of or expresses one individual or more than one.
  • n. In phrenology, one of the perceptive faculties, whose alleged organ is situated a little to the side of the outer angle of the eye, and whose function is to give a talent for calculation in general.
  • n. Metrical sound or utterance; measured or harmonic expression; rhythm.
  • n. plural A succession of metrical syllables; poetical measure; poetry; verse.
  • n. In music:
  • n. One of the principal sections or movements of an extended musical work, as of an oratorio. Usually the overture in such a case is not counted.
  • n. Same as opus-number.
  • n. The expression of a quantity in mixed denominations.
  • n. A term used in the textile-industry to designate the size or fineness of yarn; the number of units of length contained in a given weight of the product.
  • n. Same as complex number (which see, under complex).
  • n. A sign or symbol for a cardinal number; a sign 1, 2, 3, … or its name ‘one,’ ‘two,’ ‘three,’ …
  • n. The cardinal number of a finite set; that property of the set because of which we shall arrive at the same natural number in whatever order we count the set.

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

  • n. a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program
  • n. a numeral or string of numerals that is used for identification
  • v. place a limit on the number of
  • v. give numbers to
  • n. the property possessed by a sum or total or indefinite quantity of units or individuals
  • n. the grammatical category for the forms of nouns and pronouns and verbs that are used depending on the number of entities involved (singular or dual or plural)
  • n. a concept of quantity involving zero and units
  • n. one of a series published periodically
  • v. put into a group
  • n. an item of merchandise offered for sale
  • v. determine the number or amount of
  • n. the number is used in calling a particular telephone
  • v. add up in number or quantity
  • n. a symbol used to represent a number
  • n. a clothing measurement
  • n. a select company of people
  • v. enumerate


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

Middle English nombre, from Old French, from Latin numerus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Anglo-Norman noumbre, from Old French nombre, from Latin numerus, from Proto-Indo-European *nem- (“to divide”).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From numb + -er.


  • And the interaction with the customer rep. led me through several instances of Things I Don't Care About: type of my account, account number (I know my _member number_, but not my account numbers), my phone banking password (I call them once a year, roughly, and they still want me to remember a token for them...) et.c...

    Making Light: The lily knows not why it blossoms in the spring

  • This is because the predicate ˜@ (number of planets)™ is true, at a world w, of whatever the predicate ˜number of planets™ is true of at the actual world.


  • _Adjectives_ express the _qualities_ which distinguish one person or thing from another; in one form they express quality _without comparison_; in another, they express comparison _between two_, or between _one_ and a number taken collectively, -- and in a third they express comparison between _one_ and a _number_ of others taken separately.

    How to Speak and Write Correctly

  • Never try to find _analytic_ date or number words until you _know the material facts connected with the date or number_ before you.

    Assimilative Memory or, How to Attend and Never Forget

  • Finding that I could not eat, the old lady, who was a "Thompsonian," made me a cup of "composition," or "number six;" but it was so strong and hot, that I called it "_number seven_" However, I soon found myself at home in this family.

    The Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave

  • The above expression must therefore be diminished by the number of units in x/4, or by (x/4) _w (this notation being used to denote the quotient, _in a whole number_, that arises from dividing x by 4).

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 "Bulgaria" to "Calgary"

  • This would result in twelve columns of equal number of cards, as seen in tableau, _but for the following conditions_: In dealing the first eight cards, count them as you deal, from one to eight, and when any card is suitable for a foundation, or to continue a foundation, play it, counting the next card as the _following number_.

    Lady Cadogan's Illustrated Games of Solitaire or Patience New Revised Edition, including American Games

  • But I agree with Mr. Kinnaird perfectly, that the concluding _five hundred_ should be only _conditional_; and for my own sake, I wish it to be added, only in case of your selling a certain number, _that number_ to be fixed by _yourself_.

    Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 3 (of 6) With His Letters and Journals

  • If I've been given a boring number, don't even bother to do rounding if [$number = 0]; then

  • • Changes are usually identified by a number or letter code, termed the \ "revision number\".

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  • Thanks, mollusque - dod shows up again in the etymology for doddered.

    August 5, 2010

  • Try dodman.

    August 5, 2010

  • Whoa. I just looked up dod and saw that The Century Dictionary has six definitions:

    "1. In tile-making, a mold with an annular throat through which clay is forced to form drain-pipe.

    2. To beat; beat out.

    3. To cut off; lop; shear.

    4. A shell.

    5. A fit of ill humor or sullenness.

    6. The foxtail reed."

    August 5, 2010

  • His procedures are subobtuse (obtooths)?

    August 3, 2010

  • Oh wow - my dentist's name is Bob. He really is everywhere.

    August 3, 2010

  • After a number of injections my jaw got number.

    August 3, 2010

  • You're sounding strangely Bubby there, sionnach.

    December 2, 2007

  • bob shot my pop and now he's dod.

    December 2, 2007

  • Haha! Great minds think alike. I did the same thing when I was setting up the puzzle. ;oD

    It's complicated and confusing, especially when you start fooling around with other manipulations in the mirror. For example bob can become dod, pop or '909' depending on how you flip the surface it is written on to present it to the mirror! See flipped image v. flopped image here.

    December 2, 2007

  • I thought the perception in the mirror was the point. And to demonstrate the hold that Wordie/oroboros have on me, I wrote bob on a piece of paper and went in to the bathroom to check! That's where dod comes from. Oh well, they say mirrors don't lie but mine's been telling quite a few porkies since I passed thirty.

    December 2, 2007

  • The translation is about the horizontal axis only. Look in a mirror and touch your right ear with your right hand. Apparently (in the mirror) your left hand touches your left ear, but it is in fact still your right hand touching your right ear. It is in this sense that I reject dod. BTW, I love your definition for dod!

    More: if you get on an airplane and the flight attendant says your seat is on the right, does she mean airplane right or your right? For aircrews the designation of right and left refers to the airplane right and left, which is opposite to what the passenger sees on boarding...just like a mirror image.

    December 2, 2007

  • On which planet?

    December 2, 2007

  • Mirrors swap up for down, not right for left. dod is a further manipulation, therefore incorrect.

    December 2, 2007

  • That would be dod. All we need is a meaning for it now. How about: the process of extinction, tail first, of flightless birds.

    December 2, 2007

  • bob?

    December 2, 2007

  • Here's a clue if you need it.

    December 2, 2007

  • 582 : 285 :: bob : ?

    Answer at the '?' link.

    December 2, 2007