- The definition of many is an indefinite, large number of people or things.
An example of many is the number of civilians killed in the war in Iraq.
- consisting of some large, indefinite number (of persons or things); numerous
- relatively numerous (preceded by as, too, etc.)
Origin of manyMiddle English ; from Old English manig, akin to German manch (OHG manag) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form menegh-, many, richly from source Sanskrit maghā-, gift, Old Irish menicc, abundant
a good many
a great many
be (one) too many for
- a finite but unspecified number of: works so many hours a week
- some number of: acting like so many children
- the majority of people
- the masses
adjectivemore more , most most
- Amounting to or consisting of a large indefinite number: many friends.
- Being one of a large indefinite number; numerous: many a child; many another day.
noun(used with a pl. verb)
- The majority of the people; the masses: “The many fail, the one succeeds” (Tennyson).
- A large indefinite number: A good many of the workers had the flu.
pron.(used with a pl. verb)
Origin of manyMiddle English, from Old English manig; see menegh- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more, superlative most)
- An indefinite large number of.
- many people enjoy playing chess; there are many different ways to cook a meal
Many is used with plural nouns only (except in the combination many a). Its singular counterpart is much, which is used with uncountable nouns. Many and much merge in the comparison forms, which are more and most for both determiners.
Cognate with Scots mony (“many”), North Frisian manag, manig, mäning (“many”), Eastern Frisian manich (“some, many”), West Frisian mannich (“many”), Dutch menig (“many”), Low German männig (“Many”), German manch (“many, some”) and mannig-, French maint (“many”), Russian многий (mnógij), Scottish Gaelic minig
The noun is from Middle English manye, *menye, from Old English manigeo, menigu (“company, multitude, host”), from Proto-Germanic *managō, *managį̄ (“multitude”), from the same root as the determiner. Cognate with Middle Low German menige, menie, menje (“multitude”).