- An indefinite large number of .
- A collective mass of people .
- An indefinite large number of people or things .
From Middle English many, mani, moni, from Old English maniġ, moniġ, maneġ ( “many” ), from Proto-Germanic *managaz ( “some, much, many” ), from Proto-Indo-European *monogʰo- ( “many” ). Cognate with Scots mony ( “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 .
From Middle English manye, *menye, from Old English manigeo, menigu ( “company, multitude, host” ), from Proto-Germanic *managō, *managīn ( “multitude” ). Cognate with Middle Low German menige, menie, menje ( “multitude” ) .
many ( plural: manies )
Explanation of many by Wordnet Dictionary
- Many n. [See Meine, Mansion.] A retinue of servants; a household. [Obs.] Chaucer.
- Many, a. & pron. [It has no variation to express degrees of comparison; more and most, which are used for the comparative and superlative degrees, are from a different root.] [OE. mani, moni, AS. manig, mænig, monig; akin to D. menig, OS. & OHG. manag, G. manch, Dan. mange, Sw. månge, Goth. manags, OSlav. mnog', Russ. mnogii; cf. Icel. margr, Prov. E. mort. √103.] Consisting of a great number; numerous; not few.
Thou shalt be a father of many nations. Gen. xvii. 4.
Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 1 Cor. i. 26.
☞ Many is freely prefixed to participles, forming compounds which need no special explanation; as, many-angled, many-celled, many-eyed, many-footed, many-handed, many-leaved, many-lettered, many-named, many-peopled, many-petaled, many-seeded, many-syllabled ( polysyllabic ), many-tongued, many-voiced, many-wived, and the like. In such usage it is equivalent to multi.
Comparison is often expressed by many with as or so. “As many as were willing hearted . . . brought bracelets.” Exod. xxxv. 22. “So many laws argue so many sins.” Milton.
Many stands with a singular substantive with a or an.
Many a, a large number taken distributively; each one of many. “For thy sake have I shed many a tear.” Shak. “Full many a gem of purest ray serene.” Gray. -- Many one, many a one; many persons. Bk. of Com. Prayer. -- The many, the majority; -- opposed to the few. See Many, n. -- Too many, too numerous; hence, too powerful; as, “they are too many for us”. L'Estrange.
Syn. -- Numerous; multiplied; frequent; manifold; various; divers; sundry.
- Many, n. [AS. menigeo, menigo, menio, multitude; akin to G. menge, OHG. managī, menigī, Goth. managei. See Many, a.]
1. The populace; the common people; the majority of people, or of a community.
After him the rascal many ran. Spenser.
2. A large or considerable number.
A many of our bodies shall no doubt
Find native graves. Shak.
Seeing a great many in rich gowns. Addison.
It will be concluded by many that he lived like an honest man. Fielding.
☞ In this sense, many is connected immediately with another substantive ( without of ) to show of what the many consists; as, a good many [of] people think so.
He is liable to a great many inconveniences. Tillotson.
Definition of many by GCIDE Dictionary