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

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
many (ˈmɛnɪ)
determiner (sometimes preceded by a great or a good) (foll by a, an, or another, and a singular noun) (preceded by as, too, that, etc)
1.  a.  a large number of: many coaches; many times
 b.  (as pronoun; functioning as plural): many are seated already
2.  each of a considerable number of: many a man
3.  a.  a great number of: as many apples as you like; too many clouds to see
 b.  (as pronoun; functioning as plural): I have as many as you
4.  the many Compare few the majority of mankind, esp the common people: the many are kept in ignorance while the few prosper
[Old English manig; related to Old Frisian manich, Middle Dutch menech, Old High German manag]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. monig, manig, from P.Gmc. *managaz (cf. O.S. manag, Swed. mången, O.Fris. manich, Du. menig, Ger. manch, Goth. manags), from PIE *monogho- (cf. O.C.S. munogu "much, many," O.Ir. menicc, Welsh mynych "frequent"). Pronunciation altered by influence of any (see manifold).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with many, also see as many; good (great) many; in so many words; irons in the fire, too many; so many; too many cooks spoil the broth.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
It has allowed me to realize how many I have seen.
The animals are so elusive that no one knows for certain how many exist.
He is faster than almost everyone else his age up these hills and faster than many half his age.
The many faces of ivy.
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