number or [num′bər]
[ME nombre < OE < L numerus: see -NOMY]
1. a symbol or word, or a group of either of these, showing how many or which one in a series: 1, 2, 10, 101 (one, two, ten, one hundred and one) are called cardinal numbers; 1st, 2d, 10th, 101st (first, second, tenth, one hundred and first) are called ordinal numbers
3. the sum or total of persons or units; aggregate
4. [with pl. v.] a collection of persons or things; company; assemblage [a small number of people]
a) [often pl.] a large group; many [cut down numbers of trees]
b) [pl.] numerical superiority [safety in numbers ]
c) [pl.] statistics, ratings, etc. [the pitcher's salary will be based on last year's numbers]
6. quantity, as consisting of units [a number of errors]
7. one of a series or group that is numbered or thought of as numbered; specif.,
a) a single issue of a periodical [the winter number of a quarterly]
b) a single song, dance, skit, etc. in a program of entertainment
c) Slang a pattern of behavior or thought, esp. one characteristic of a particular individual, group, etc.
8. Informal a person or thing singled out [this hat is a smart number]: see also OPPOSITE NUMBER
9. Gram.
a) a characteristic, as of nouns and verbs, indicating whether a given utterance involves reference to one or more than one entity, or, in some languages, to exactly two; also, an analytic category based on this characteristic
b) the form a word takes to indicate this characteristic
c) any of the sets of such forms: see SINGULAR, DUAL NUMBER, PLURAL
10. [pl.] Obs.
a) metrical form; meter
b) metrical lines; verses
[ME nombren < OFr nombrer < L numerare, to count < numerus]
1. to total the number of persons or things in; count; enumerate
2. to give a number to; designate by number
3. to include as one of a group, class, or category [numbered among the missing]
4. to fix or limit the number or the duration of [his days are numbered]
5. to have or comprise; total [a library numbering 10,000 volumes]
1. to total; count; enumerate
2. to be numbered; be included
a number of
an unspecified number of; several or many
beyond number
too numerous to be counted
☆ by the numbers
1. Mil. in prescribed sequence of movements and accompanied by a count
2. in a mechanical, unthinking way
☆ do a number on
Slang to abuse or mistreat in some way, as by injuring, disparaging, cheating, or humiliating
☆ have someone's number or get someone's number
Slang to discover (or know) someone's true character or motives
someone's number is up
Slang someone's time to die or suffer punishment has arrived
☆ the numbers
an illegal lottery in which small bets are placed on the order of certain numbers, usually the last three, in some tabulation of game scores or financial reports published in the daily newspapers: also called numbers game (or racket)
without number
too numerous to be counted

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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