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a number of

A collection of persons or things; several. For example, A number of tours are available, or We've visited a number of times. This idiom often is modified by an adjective giving some idea of quantity, as in Only a small number are going. [ 1300s ]
Also see: any number of
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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