• "A great number of seagulls were chasing the fugitive."
    "A great number of seagulls were chasing the fugitive."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v number place a limit on the number of
    • v number enumerate "We must number the names of the great mathematicians"
    • v number determine the number or amount of "Can you count the books on your shelf?","Count your change"
    • v number give numbers to "You should number the pages of the thesis"
    • v number add up in number or quantity "The bills amounted to $2,000","The bill came to $2,000"
    • v number put into a group "The academy counts several Nobel Prize winners among its members"
    • n number an item of merchandise offered for sale "she preferred the black nylon number","this sweater is an all-wool number"
    • n number a clothing measurement "a number 13 shoe"
    • n number 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"
    • n number 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"
    • n number a numeral or string of numerals that is used for identification "she refused to give them her Social Security number"
    • n number the number is used in calling a particular telephone "he has an unlisted number"
    • n number one of a series published periodically "she found an old issue of the magazine in her dentist's waiting room"
    • n number a symbol used to represent a number "he learned to write the numerals before he went to school"
    • n number 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"
    • n number a select company of people "I hope to become one of their number before I die"
    • n number a concept of quantity involving zero and units "every number has a unique position in the sequence"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Making a Number of Like Pieces from a Given Piece Making a Number of Like Pieces from a Given Piece
"Did you get his number?" "Did you get his number?"
Showing a number of decorated buildings and a free-standing ornate column Showing a number of decorated buildings and a free-standing ornate column
Showing small number of windows and statuary on roof Showing small number of windows and statuary on roof

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The average number of bridesmaids at a wedding is four
    • Number A collection of many individuals; a numerous assemblage; a multitude; many. "Ladies are always of great use to the party they espouse, and never fail to win over numbers ."
    • Number A numeral; a word or character denoting a number; as, to put a number on a door.
    • Number Numerousness; multitude. "Number itself importeth not much in armies where the people are of weak courage."
    • Number Quantity, regarded as made up of an aggregate of separate things.
    • Number 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.
    • Number That which is regulated by count; poetic measure, as divisions of time or number of syllables; hence, poetry, verse; -- chiefly used in the plural. "I lisped in numbers , for the numbers came."
    • Number (Gram) 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.
    • Number (Math) 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.
    • Number The state or quality of being numerable or countable. "Of whom came nations, tribes, people, and kindreds out of number ."
    • Number To amount; to equal in number; to contain; to consist of; as, the army numbers fifty thousand. "Thy tears can not number the dead."
    • Number To count; to reckon; to ascertain the units of; to enumerate. "If a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered ."
    • Number 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.
    • Number To reckon as one of a collection or multitude. "He was numbered with the transgressors."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The largest number of children born to one woman, who was a Russian peasant is 69
    • n number That character of a collection or plurality by virtue of which, when the individuals constituting it are counted, the count ends at a certain point—that is, with a certain numeral; also, the point (or numeral) at which the count ends. See def. 3.
    • n number Quantity or amount considered as an aggregate of the individuals composing it; aggregate.
    • n number A numeral, or word used in counting: otherwise called a cardinal number: as, the number that comes after 4 is 5; also, in a wider sense, any numerical expression denoting a quantity, magnitude, or measure. Euclid does not consider one as a number, Ramus makes it the lowest number, and modern mathematicians treat not only 1, but also 0, as a number.
    • n number A written arithmetical figure or series of figures signifying a numeral.
    • n number A collection; a lot; a class.
    • n number A considerable collection; a large class.
    • n number The capacity of being counted: used especially in the hyperbolical phrase without number.
    • n number A numeral of a series affixed in regular order to a series of things: as, the number of a house in a street.
    • n number One of a series of things distinguished by consecutive numerals: used especially of serial publications.
    • n number The doctrine and properties of numerals and their relations.
    • n number Numerousness; the character of being a large collection: used in this sense both in the singular and in the plural.
    • n number In grammar, that distinctive form which a word assumes according as it is said of or expresses one individual or more than one. The form which denotes one or an individual is the singular number; the form that is set apart for two individuals (as in Greek and Sanskrit) is the dual number; while that which refers to more than two, or indifferently to two or more individuals or units, constitutes the plural number. Hence we say a noun, an adjective, a pronoun, or a verb is in the singular or the plural number.
    • n number In phrenology, one of the perceptive faculties, whose alleged organ is situated a little to the side of the outer angle of the eye, and whose function is to give a talent for calculation in general.
    • n number Metrical sound or utterance; measured or harmonic expression; rhythm.
    • n number plural A succession of metrical syllables; poetical measure; poetry; verse.
    • n number In music:
    • n number One of the principal sections or movements of an extended musical work, as of an oratorio. Usually the overture in such a case is not counted.
    • n number Same as opus-number.
    • n number The expression of a quantity in mixed denominations.
    • number To count; reckon; ascertain the number of, or aggregate of individuals in; enumerate.
    • number To make or keep a reckoning of; count up, as by naming or setting down one by one; make a tally or list of.
    • number To complete as to number; limit; come to the end of.
    • number To reckon as one of a collection or multitude; include in a list or class.
    • number To put a number or numbers on; assign a distinctive number to; mark the order of, as of the members of a series; assign the place of in a numbered series: as, to number a row of houses, or a collection of books.
    • number To possess to the number of.
    • number To amount to; reach the number of: as, the force under the command of Cæsar numbered 45,000 men.
    • number To equal in number.
    • number Synonyms and To tell, calculate, reckon, call over, sum up.
    • n number A term used in the textile-industry to designate the size or fineness of yarn; the number of units of length contained in a given weight of the product. The length of yam required to produce the definite weight on which the numbering is based is called a hank, as with cotton, or, in case of flax or jute, a lay or lea. The fundamental rule, in the various systems of numbering yarn, is that the flner the yarn the higher shall be the number. The number, or titre, of true or reeled silk differs from that of all other yarns in being based on a constant length and variable weight. The higher the number, or titre, the coarser the yarn or thread. The number is expressed in deniers. According to the international (French) titre system, a denier is .05 gram, or .771 grain, for 500 meters. In the new Lyons titre system a denier is 1.2747 grams, or 19.66 grains, for 12,000 meters.
    • n number Same as complex number (which see, under complex).
    • n number A sign or symbol for a cardinal number; a sign 1, 2, 3, … or its name ‘one,’ ‘two,’ ‘three,’ …
    • n number The cardinal number of a finite set; that property of the set because of which we shall arrive at the same natural number in whatever order we count the set.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The patent number of the telephone is 174465.
    • n Number num′bėr 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.: :
    • v.t Number to count: to reckon as one of a multitude: to mark with a number: to amount to
    • n Number a figure or mark used to express a number, as 1, 2, 3, &c.:
    • n Number num′bėr (gram.) the difference in words to express singular or plural
    • n Number num′bėr (pl.) the fourth book of the Old Testament
    • n Number (gram.) a word used to denote a number
    • ***


  • Francis Hutcheson
    Francis Hutcheson
    “The action is best that secures the greatest happiness for the greatest number.”
  • Bill Bradley
    Bill Bradley
    “Becoming number one is easier than remaining number one.”
  • David Hume
    “And what is the greatest number? Number one.”
  • Desiderius Erasmus
    “Fools are without number.”
  • Oscar Hammerstein
    Oscar Hammerstein
    “The number of people that will not go to a show they don't want to see is unlimited.”
  • Moses Malone
    Moses Malone
    “I'll always be number 1 to myself.”


Back number - Something that's a back number is dated or out of fashion.
By the numbers - If something is done by the numbers, it is done in a mechanical manner without room for creativity.
Days are numbered - When someone’s days are numbered, they are expected to die soon.
I've got your number - You have made a mistake and I am going to call you on it. You are in trouble (a threat). I have a disagreement with you. I understand your true nature.
Look after number 1 - You are number one, so this idiom means that you should think about yourself first, rather than worrying about other people.
Look out for number one - If you look out for number one, you take care of yourself and your interests, rather than those of other people.
Number cruncher - A number cruncher is an accountant or someone who is very good at dealing with numbers and calculations.
Pull numbers out of your ass - (USA) If sopmeone pulls numbers out of their ass, they give unreliable or unsubstantiated figures to back their argument.
Safety in numbers - If a lot of people do something risky at the same time, the risk is reduced because there is safety in numbers.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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


In literature:

The Austrians occupying them numbered 15,000, of which a large number were in a deeply wooded gorge.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII)" by Various
It is estimated that the number of civilians in flight over these terrible roads numbered fully 700,000.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume IV (of 8)"
To supply the great number of batteries needed for gasoline automobiles, large companies have been formed.
"The Automobile Storage Battery" by O. A. Witte
The financial report showed the receipts for 1884 to be in round numbers $2,000, and a balance of $300 still remaining in the treasury.
"The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV" by Various
The number of eggs varies from three to seven.
"The Bird Book" by Chester A. Reed
The amendment was numbered "23" and at that time this number was considered unlucky.
"The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI" by Various
If he lapsed, then Number Two became Number One, and all down the line the numbers advanced one.
"Claim Number One" by George W. (George Washington) Ogden
The number of arrivals by way of the air in that particular village every day numbered high in the thousands.
""And they thought we wouldn't fight"" by Floyd Gibbons
Their own numbers they represent to be not exceeding 50,000, but I suspect they have three times that number.
"A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital" by John Beauchamp Jones
The statutes, not drawn up until the end of April 1443, raised the number of the college to forty.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 2" by Various

In poetry:

But to scenes of real woe,
Where a wretch is truely dying,
Wherefore do such numbers go,
What can be the joy of sighing?
"The Culprit" by Nathaniel Bloomfield
We shall die—our hours are numbered—
As the sunlight dawns serene
Over yonder mountain ridges,
Rimming round this battle scene.
"In The Artillery" by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop
Roam with young Persephone.
Plucking poppies for your slumber . . .
With the morrow, there shall be
One more wraith among your number.
"Rainy Night" by Dorothy Parker
’Twas not their courage, or their sword,
To them salvation gave;
’Twas not their number or their strength
That did their country save.
"O Lord, our fathers oft have told" by Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady
The spirit-harp within the breast
A spirit's touch alone can know,--
Yet thine the power to wake its rest,
And bid its echoing numbers flow.
"To A Lady Who Had Been Singing" by Samuel Griswold Goodrich
Oh ! how sweet the blue sky roving,
All the charms of freedom proving !
Oh ! how sweet to break day's slumbers
With my gay rejoicing numbers !
"Lines Written On Seeing Lark" by Laura Sophia Temple

In news:

With the number of smart phones set to outpace the number of people in the world, it's clear this is a technology that will only continue to evolve and advance.
Under Saban, Alabama's classes from even-numbered years have been asked more often to contribute immediately than the ones from odd-numbered years.
No tickets matched all five "Fantasy 5" numbers, meaning 311 tickets with four numbers correct are worth $555 each.
No tickets matched all five "Fantasy 5" numbers, meaning the 272 tickets with four numbers correct are worth $555, the Florida Lottery said Friday.
Another 8,272 tickets matching three numbers won $21 each and 83,420 tickets won a Quick Pick ticket for picking two numbers.
"We do think the numbers of participants are down a little bit because the numbers of fish counts are lower," said Hancock.
It's probably unusual to start a sentence with a number, but, in this instance, the number is that of my age, reached Oct 4 on my 91st birthday.
The number of deportation cases in federal courts has been going down for a while, but the number of people deported because of serious criminal activity has decreased faster than the overall caseload.
The Numbers Say You Probably Won't Believe The Numbers We're About to Show You.
Winning numbers drawn in 'Evening Numbers' game.
Winning numbers drawn in 'Midday Daily Number' game.
The band can be heard on 22 number one pop hits, 48 number one R&B hits, generating sales of over 300 million records.
In Greek, Tavro means 'bull' and the number thirteen is Owner Gus Tzitzifas' lucky number.
The total number of crimes reported in Oklahoma increased slightly in 2011, while the number of violent crimes dropped to the lowest level since 2008, according to an annual report compiled by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Alexus Wilson drives to the basket while a number of her teammates including Kelsey McClure, background, and Sydni Carter (13) converge along with a number of Southeast players.

In science:

The first number in the bracket indicates the number of ηa ’s and the second number the number of θa ’s.
Worldsheet and Spacetime Properties of p-p' System with B Field and Noncommutative Geometry
The number of times a given element (outcome) of the sample space occurs in the ensemble is such that the ratio of this number to the total number of members in the ensemble is, exactly, the probability associated with the outcome.
Monte Carlo: Basics
The maximum number of fermionic propagators (i.e. those which are switched on) is determined and their numbers are stored into an array. • If this number of propagators equals zero, only one Zfunc has to be calculated.
AMEGIC++ 1.0, A Matrix Element Generator In C++
Within the Constructor(), the number of optimization steps, the number of phase space points per step as well as a maximum number of phase space points to be generated are set.
AMEGIC++ 1.0, A Matrix Element Generator In C++
Though there are infinite number of divergent vertexes in the gravitational gauge theory, we need not introduce infinite number of interaction terms that do not exist in the original Lagrangian and infinite number of parameters.
Gauge Theory of Gravity