- informal financial statistics: let's look at last year's numbers
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
- a mathematical unit used to count or express an amount, quantity, etc.[countable]Six is an even number; one, three, and five are odd numbers.
- Mathematics[countable] a numeral or group of numerals;
a written number.
- Pronounsthe total of a group or of a collection of units: [countable]What is the number of people with reserved seats?[uncountable]Rivers are few in number in that state.
- an indefinite quantity; several[countable;
often: ~ + of]I've been there a number of times.
- Mathematics[countable] the particular numeral that is given or assigned to an object so as to distinguish it or show its place in a series:
a house number; a license number;[before a numeral]We took the number 113 bus to the station.
a telephone number.
- a considerable amount or quantity;
many:arrived in large numbers.
- numerical strength; a greater amount:There is strength in numbers.
- [the + ~] a lottery in which bets are placed on numbers chosen at random and published or broadcast.
- [Informal.]the figures representing the actual cost, expense, profit, etc.:The numbers didn't really add up, so the accountant went back over them.
- arithmetic:Are you any good at numbers?
usually singular]The girls think he's a pretty hot number. One of our number is no longer with us;
Bob died suddenly last week.
- to mark with or distinguish by numbers, usually in a series[~ + object]He numbered the examples one through ten on the board.
- to amount to or reach in number; total: [~ + object]Our air force numbers one thousand bombers.[no object]Our army numbers in the thousands.
- to consider or include in a number[~ + object]I number myself among his friends. He was numbered among their enemies.
- to be close to the end of something[~ + object; usually: be + ~ed]He knew his hours were numbered after he took three bullets in the chest.
- to figure out the amount or quantity of;
count[~ + object]We numbered the days until we could go home again.
- according to standard procedures.
vast:Stars and galaxies without number fill the universe.
- Mathematicsa numeral or group of numerals.
- Pronounsthe sum, total, count, or aggregate of a collection of units, or the like:A number of people were hurt in the accident. The number of homeless children in the city has risen alarmingly.
- a word or symbol, or a combination of words or symbols, used in counting or in noting a total.
- Mathematicsthe particular numeral assigned to an object so as to designate its place in a series:house number; license number.
- one of a series of things distinguished by or marked with numerals.
- a certain collection, company, or quantity not precisely reckoned, but usually considerable or large:I've gone there a number of times.
- the full count of a collection or company.
- a collection or company.
- a quantity of individuals:Their number was more than 20,000.
- a considerable amount or quantity; many:Numbers flocked to the city to see the parade.
- metrical feet;
- musical periods, measures, or groups of notes.
- See numbers pool (def. 1).
- [Informal.]the figures representing the actual cost, expense, profit, etc.:We won't make a decision until we see the numbers.
- according to standard procedure, rules, customs, etc.; orthodoxly;
by the book:We're going to run things here by the numbers.
- together or in unison to a called-out count:calisthenics by the numbers.
- to undermine, defeat, humiliate, or criticize thoroughly:The committee really did a number on the mayor's proposal.
- to discuss or discourse about, esp. in an entertaining way:She could do a number on anything from dentistry to the Bomb.
- to give a performance; perform:It's time for you to get on stage and do your number.
- [Slang.]to behave in a predictable or customary manner:Whenever I call, he does his number about being too busy to talk.
- one is (was, will be) in serious trouble.
- one is (was, will be) on the point of death:Convinced that her number was up anyway, she refused to see doctors.
- to mark with or distinguish by numbers:Number each of the definitions.
- to amount to or comprise in number; total:The manuscript already numbers 425 pages.
- to consider or include in a number:I number myself among his friends.
- to count over one by one; tell:to number one's blessings.
- to mention individually or one by one;
enumerate:They numbered the highlights of their trip at length.
- to set or fix the number of; limit in number;
make few in number:The sick old man's days are numbered.
- to live or have lived (a number of years).
- to ascertain the number of;
- to apportion or divide:The players were numbered into two teams.
- to make a total; reach an amount:Casualties numbered in the thousands.
- to be numbered or included (usually fol. by among or with):Several eminent scientists number among his friends.
- to count.
(noun, nominal) Middle English, variant of nombre
(verb, verbal) Middle English nombren
1 .digit, figure. 2 . Number, sum both imply the total of two or more units. Number applies to the result of a count or estimate in which the units are considered as individuals;
it is used of groups of persons or things:to have a number of items on the agenda.Sum applies to the result of addition, in which only the total is considered:a large sum of money. 20 .copy, edition. 2 .As a collective noun, number, when preceded by a, is most often treated as a plural:A number of legislators have voiced their dissent.When preceded by the, it is usually used as a singular:The number of legislators present was small.See also amount, collective noun.