WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
num•ber /ˈnʌmbɚ/USA pronunciation n. 
  1. [countable] a mathematical unit used to count or express an amount, quantity, etc.:Six is an even number; one, three, and five are odd numbers.
  2. Mathematics[countable] a numeral or group of numerals;
    a written number.
  3. 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.
  4. [countable; usually singular;
    often: ~ + of]
    an indefinite quantity;
    several:I've been there a number of times.
  5. 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;
    a telephone number.
    [before a numeral]We took the number 113 bus to the station.
  6. numbers, [plural]
    • 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?
  7. Music and Dance[countable] a tune or arrangement for singing or dancing; a piece of music:The next number they played was "Sunshine of Your Love.''
  8. Music and Dance[countable] a certain performance within a show, as a song or dance:Don't miss the number that opens the second act.
  9. Grammar[uncountable] a category of change in the form of a word which indicates whether the word refers to one or to more than one thing, in the distinction between singular and plural:In English, number is represented by the ending -s for many nouns in the plural, such as boys, books, clothes, and dolls.
  10. Informal Terms[countable; usually singular][Informal.]person;
    individual:The girls think he's a pretty hot number. One of our number is no longer with us;
    Bob died suddenly last week.

v. 
  • [+ object] to mark with or distinguish by numbers, usually in a series: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.
  • [+ object] to consider or include in a number:I number myself among his friends. He was numbered among their enemies.
  • [+ object; usually: be + ~ed] to be close to the end of something:He knew his hours were numbered after he took three bullets in the chest.
  • [+ object] to figure out the amount or quantity of;
    count:We numbered the days until we could go home again.
  • idiom
      by the numbers: 
      • according to standard procedures.
    1. Idiomsdo a number on, [+ object][Slang.]to defeat or humiliate:Their team did a number on us, beating us 55-0.
    2. Idiomsget or have someone's number, [Informal.]to figure out or understand someone's character, intentions, or any hidden motives or plans they may have:She thinks she's fooling them, but in fact they have her number. She's got my number all right; she knew just what I would do.
    3. Idiomswithout number, of unknown or countless number;
      vast:Stars and galaxies without number fill the universe.

    See -num-.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    numbers /ˈnʌmbəs/ pl n
    1. informal financial statistics: let's look at last year's numbers



    'numbers' also found in these entries:

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