What does number mean?

Definitions for number
ˈnʌm bərnum·ber

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word number.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. number, figurenoun

    the property possessed by a sum or total or indefinite quantity of units or individuals

    "he had a number of chores to do"; "the number of parameters is small"; "the figure was about a thousand"

  2. numbernoun

    a concept of quantity involving zero and units

    "every number has a unique position in the sequence"

  3. act, routine, number, turn, bitnoun

    a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program

    "he did his act three times every evening"; "she had a catchy little routine"; "it was one of the best numbers he ever did"

  4. phone number, telephone number, numbernoun

    the number is used in calling a particular telephone

    "he has an unlisted number"

  5. numeral, numbernoun

    a symbol used to represent a number

    "he learned to write the numerals before he went to school"

  6. issue, numbernoun

    one of a series published periodically

    "she found an old issue of the magazine in her dentist's waiting room"

  7. numbernoun

    a select company of people

    "I hope to become one of their number before I die"

  8. number, identification numbernoun

    a numeral or string of numerals that is used for identification

    "she refused to give them her Social Security number"

  9. numbernoun

    a clothing measurement

    "a number 13 shoe"

  10. numbernoun

    the grammatical category for the forms of nouns and pronouns and verbs that are used depending on the number of entities involved (singular or dual or plural)

    "in English the subject and the verb must agree in number"

  11. numberverb

    an item of merchandise offered for sale

    "she preferred the black nylon number"; "this sweater is an all-wool number"

  12. total, number, add up, come, amountverb

    add up in number or quantity

    "The bills amounted to $2,000"; "The bill came to $2,000"

  13. numberverb

    give numbers to

    "You should number the pages of the thesis"

  14. number, listverb


    "We must number the names of the great mathematicians"

  15. count, numberverb

    put into a group

    "The academy counts several Nobel Prize winners among its members"

  16. count, number, enumerate, numerateverb

    determine the number or amount of

    "Can you count the books on your shelf?"; "Count your change"

  17. number, keep downverb

    place a limit on the number of

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Numbernoun

    Etymology: nombre, French; numerus, Latin.

    Hye thee, from this slaughter-house,
    Lest thou increase the number of the dead. William Shakespeare, Rich. III.

    The silver, the gold, and the vessels, were weighed by number and by weight. Ezra viii. 34.

    Thou shalt take a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. Ezek. v. 3.

    There is but one gate for strangers to enter at, that it may be known what numbers of them are in the town. Addison.

    This is the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers: they say there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death. William Shakespeare, M. W. of Wind.

    Much of that we are to speak may seem to a number perhaps tedious, perhaps obscure, dark, and intricate. Richard Hooker.

    Water lilly hath a root in the ground; and so have a number of other herbs that grow in ponds. Francis Bacon.

    Ladies are always of great use to the party they espouse, and never fail to win over numbers. Addison.

    Of him came nations and tribes out of number. 2 Esd. iii. 7.

    Loud as from numbers without number. John Milton.

    Number itself importeth not much in armies, where the people are of weak courage: for, as Virgil says, it never troubles a wolf how many the sheep be. Francis Bacon.

    If you will, some few of you shall see the place; and then you may send for your sick, and the rest of your number, which ye will bring on land. Francis Bacon, N. Atlantis.

    They, as they move
    Their starry dance in numbers that compute
    Days, months, and years, tow’rds his all-chearing lamp,
    Turn swift. John Milton.

    Should the muses bid my numbers roll
    Strong as their charms. Alexander Pope.

    How many numbers is in nouns? ——
    —— Two. William Shakespeare, Merry W. of Windsor.

  2. To NUMBERverb

    Etymology: nombrer, French; numero, Latin.

    If a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Gen. xiii. 16.

    Number them by their armies. Numbers i. 3.

    I will number you to the sword. Is. lxv. 12.

    The gold, the vest, the tripods number’d o’er,
    All these he found. Alexander Pope, Odyssey, b. 13.

    He was numbered with the transgressors, and bare the sin of many. Is. liii. 12.


  1. number

    A number is a mathematical concept used to represent or quantify a quantity, size, or magnitude. It is a symbol or a word that can be used for counting, measuring, ordering, or performing calculations. Numbers can be integers (whole numbers), fractions, or decimals, and they can be positive, negative, or zero. They are essential in various disciplines such as mathematics, science, finance, and everyday life for various applications such as counting objects, solving equations, measuring distances, representing quantities, and more.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Numbernoun

    that which admits of being counted or reckoned; a unit, or an aggregate of units; a numerable aggregate or collection of individuals; an assemblage made up of distinct things expressible by figures

  2. Numbernoun

    a collection of many individuals; a numerous assemblage; a multitude; many

  3. Numbernoun

    a numeral; a word or character denoting a number; as, to put a number on a door

  4. Numbernoun

    numerousness; multitude

  5. Numbernoun

    the state or quality of being numerable or countable

  6. Numbernoun

    quantity, regarded as made up of an aggregate of separate things

  7. Numbernoun

    that which is regulated by count; poetic measure, as divisions of time or number of syllables; hence, poetry, verse; -- chiefly used in the plural

  8. Numbernoun

    the distinction of objects, as one, or more than one (in some languages, as one, or two, or more than two), expressed (usually) by a difference in the form of a word; thus, the singular number and the plural number are the names of the forms of a word indicating the objects denoted or referred to by the word as one, or as more than one

  9. Numbernoun

    the measure of the relation between quantities or things of the same kind; that abstract species of quantity which is capable of being expressed by figures; numerical value

  10. Numbernoun

    to count; to reckon; to ascertain the units of; to enumerate

  11. Numbernoun

    to reckon as one of a collection or multitude

  12. Numbernoun

    to give or apply a number or numbers to; to assign the place of in a series by order of number; to designate the place of by a number or numeral; as, to number the houses in a street, or the apartments in a building

  13. Numbernoun

    to amount; to equal in number; to contain; to consist of; as, the army numbers fifty thousand

  14. Etymology: [OE. nombre, F. nombre, L. numerus; akin to Gr. no`mos that which is dealt out, fr. ne`mein to deal out, distribute. See Numb, Nomad, and cf. Numerate, Numero, Numerous.]


  1. Number

    A number is a mathematical object used to count, label, and measure. In mathematics, the definition of number has been extended over the years to include such numbers as 0, negative numbers, rational numbers, irrational numbers, and complex numbers. Mathematical operations are certain procedures that take one or more numbers as input and produce a number as output. Unary operations take a single input number and produce a single output number. For example, the successor operation adds 1 to an integer, thus the successor of 4 is 5. Binary operations take two input numbers and produce a single output number. Examples of binary operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and exponentiation. The study of numerical operations is called arithmetic. A notational symbol that represents a number is called a numeral. In addition to their use in counting and measuring, numerals are often used for labels, for ordering, and for codes. In common usage, the word number can mean the abstract object, the symbol, or the word for the number.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Number

    num′bėr, n. that by which things are counted or computed: a collection of things: more than one: a unit in counting: a numerical figure: the measure of multiplicity: sounds distributed into harmonies: metre, verse, esp. in pl.: (gram.) the difference in words to express singular or plural: (pl.) the fourth book of the Old Testament.—v.t. to count: to reckon as one of a multitude: to mark with a number: to amount to.—n. Num′berer.—adj. Num′berless, without number: more than can be counted.—ns. Numerabil′ity, Nū′merableness.—adj. Nū′merable, that may be numbered or counted.—adv. Nū′merably.—adj. Nū′meral, pertaining to, consisting of, or expressing number.—n. a figure or mark used to express a number, as 1, 2, 3, &c.: (gram.) a word used to denote a number.—adv. Nū′merally, according to number.—adj. Nū′merary, belonging to a certain number: contained within or counting as one of a body or a number—opp. to Supernumerary.—v.t. Nū′merāte, to point off and read as figures: (orig.) to enumerate, to number.—ns. Nūmerā′tion, act of numbering: the art of reading numbers, and expressing their values; Nū′merātor, one who numbers: the upper number of a vulgar fraction, which expresses the number of fractional parts taken.—adjs. Nūmer′ic, -al, belonging to, or consisting in, number: the same both in number and kind.—adv. Nūmer′ically.—n. Nūmeros′ity, numerousness: harmonious flow.—adj. Nū′merous, great in number: being many.—adv. Nū′merously.—n. Nū′merousness. [Fr. nombre—L. numerus, number.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. number

    The number on the ship's books is marked on the clothing of seamen; that on a man's hammock or bag corresponds with his number on the watch and station bill. The ships of the royal navy are denoted by flags expressing letters, and when passing or nearing each other the names are exchanged by signals.--Losing the number of the mess, is a phrase for dying suddenly; being killed or drowned.

Editors Contribution

  1. number

    A known mathematical symbol.

    Numbers are learnt and known.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 26, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. Number

    Amount vs. Number -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Amount and Number.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'number' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #166

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'number' in Written Corpus Frequency: #216

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'number' in Nouns Frequency: #18

How to pronounce number?

How to say number in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of number in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of number in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of number in a Sentence

  1. Nick Carpou:

    She is absolutely a bankable movie star, it’s another number one opening for her.

  2. Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed:

    We have a military garrison in Garissa, and the work began immediately after the attack was reported and continued for a number of hours until we were able to rescue 663 students of the 800 students that had been taken hostage by these terrorists. So the response was adequate, we did everything that we could do.

  3. Clare Ostle:

    We have known that plastic production has increased, and although there are a number of studies that have shown increased concentrations of plastic up to the 1990s, these studies have not been able to demonstrate the expected increase in plastics in open ocean surface waters.

  4. Benjamin Weinthal:

    The number of Christians in Iran is estimated at between 200,000 and 500,000, out of an overall population of nearly 78 million. Although the Islamic Republic’s constitution guarantees on paper that Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism are protected religions, the application of Sharia Law — or Islamic Law — relegates the members of the minority religions to second class citizens. The historical term for a subjugated non-Muslim religious minority member living in an Islamic society is dhimmi. In response to multiple FoxNews.com media queries about the convicted Iranian Christians, Hamid Babaei, head of the press office in the Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in New York, declined to comment. Saba Farzan said the latest crackdown is further affirmation that the current talks between the U.S. and Iran on lifting economic sanctions in exchange for guarantees Iran won't pursue nuclear weapons can not proceed in good faith. They never made sense and never will, Saba Farzan said. The West can't discuss arms control with a leadership that oppresses religious minorities and human rights activists.

  5. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer:

    This downward trend is encouraging and signals that we are likely to pass the peak of Omicron transmission and are beginning to see a real decline in the number of newly infected individuals.

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Translations for number

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"number." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/number>.

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    a central point or locus of an infection in an organism
    A fervidness
    B liniment
    C viverrine
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