Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[men-ee] /ˈmɛn i/
adjective, more, most.
constituting or forming a large number; numerous:
many people.
noting each one of a large number (usually followed by a or an):
For many a day it rained.
a large or considerable number of persons or things:
A good many of the beggars were blind.
the many, the greater part of humankind.
many persons or things:
Many of the beggars were blind. Many were unable to attend.
before 900; Middle English mani, meni, Old English manig, menig; akin to Old Saxon, Old High German manag, menig, Danish mange, Gothic manags
Related forms
overmany, adjective
1. multifarious, multitudinous, myriad; divers, sundry, various. Many, innumerable, manifold, numerous imply the presence or succession of a large number of units. Many is a popular and common word for this idea: many times. Numerous, a more formal word, refers to a great number or to very many units: letters too numerous to mention. Innumerable denotes a number that is beyond count or, more loosely, that is extremely difficult to count: the innumerable stars in the sky. Manifold implies not only that the number is large but also that there is variety or complexity.
1. few, single. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for many
  • It has allowed me to realize how many I have seen.
  • The many faces of ivy.
  • This year the recession heightened many families' concerns about paying for college.
  • Counting may be innate in many species.
  • The animals are so elusive that no one knows for certain how many exist.
  • One of the island's many cut-flower farms.
  • He is faster than almost everyone else his age up these hills and faster than many half his age.
  • In many cases, the information in those letters helps families decide where a student will ultimately enroll.
  • Bermuda shorts are considered normal business attire by many Bermudians.
  • Cookware and hardware stores are selling many new models this year.
British Dictionary definitions for many


sometimes preceded by a great or a good
  1. a large number of: many coaches, many times
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as plural): many are seated already
foll by a, an, or another, and a singular noun. each of a considerable number of: many a man
preceded by as, too, that, etc
  1. a great number of: as many apples as you like, too many clouds to see
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as plural): I have as many as you
the many, the majority of mankind, esp the common people: the many are kept in ignorance while the few prosper Compare few (sense 7)
See also more, most
Word Origin
Old English manig; related to Old Frisian manich, Middle Dutch menech, Old High German manag
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for many

Old English monig, manig "many, many a, much," from Proto-Germanic *managaz (cf. Old Saxon manag, Swedish mången, Old Frisian manich, Dutch menig, Old High German manag, German manch, Gothic manags), from PIE *menegh- "copious" (cf. Old Church Slavonic munogu "much, many," Old Irish menicc, Welsh mynych "frequent," Old Irish magham "gift"). Pronunciation altered by influence of any (see manifold).


Old English menigu, from many (adj.). The many "the multitude" attested from 1520s. Cf. also Gothic managei "multitude, crowd," Old High German managi "large number, plurality," German Menge "multitude."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for many


Related Terms

one too many

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with many
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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