- IPA: /mʌtʃ/, X-SAMPA: /mVtS/
- Rhymes: -ʌtʃ
- ( obsolete ) Large, great. [12th-16th c.]
- A large amount of. [from 13th c.]
- 1816, Jane Austen, Persuasion:
- 2011, "Wisconsin and wider", The Economist, 24 Feb 2011:
- ( now archaic or nonstandard ) A great number of; many ( people ). [from 13th c.]
- 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book XX:
- 1526, Bible, tr. William Tyndale, Matthew VI:
- 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula:
- ( now Caribbean, African-American ) Many ( + plural: countable noun ). [from 13th c.]
- Much is now generally used with uncountable nouns. The equivalent used with countable nouns is many. In positive contexts, much is avoided: I have a lot of money but not *I have much money .
- Unlike many determiners, much is frequently modified by intensifying adverbs, as in “too much”, “very much”, “so much”, “not much”, and so on. ( The same is true of many. )
- To a great extent .
- I don't like fish much .
- He is much fatter than I remember him .
- He left her, much to the satisfaction of her other suitor .
- Often; frequently .
- As a verb modifier in positive contexts, much must be modified by another adverb: I like fish very much, I like fish so much, etc. but not *I like fish much .
- As a comparative intensifier, many can be used instead of much if it modifies the comparative form of many, i.e. more with a countable noun: many more people but much more snow .
From Middle English muche ( “much, great” ), apocopated variant of muchel ( “much, great” ), from Old English myċel, miċel ( “large, great, much” ), from Proto-Germanic *mikilaz ( “great, many, much” ), from Proto-Indo-European *meǵa- ( “big, stour, great” ). See also mickle, muckle .
Cognate with Scots mukill, mekil, mikil ( “big, large, great, much” ), Middle Dutch mēkel ( “great, many, much” ), Middle High German michel ( "great, many, much"; > German michel ( “great, big, large” ) ), Norwegian mye, mykje ( “much” ), Swedish mycket ( “much” ), Danish meget ( “much” ), Gothic ( mikils, “great, many” ), Ancient Greek μέγας ( mégas, “large, great” ), Modern Greek μεγάλος ( megálos, “large, great” ) .
Note that English much is not related to Spanish mucho, and their resemblance in both form and meaning is purely coincidental, as mucho derives from Latin multus and is not related to the Germanic forms .
Explanation of much by Wordnet Dictionary
- Much ( mŭch ), a. [Compar. & superl. wanting, but supplied by More ( mōr ), and Most ( mōst ), from another root.] [OE. moche, muche, miche, prob. the same as mochel, muchel, michel, mikel, fr. AS. micel, mycel; cf. Gr. μέγας, fem. μεγάλη, great, and Icel. mjök, adv., much. √103. See Mickle.]
1. Great in quantity; long in duration; as, “much rain has fallen; much time.”
Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in. Deut. xxviii. 38.
2. Many in number. [Archaic]
Edom came out against him with much people. Num. xx. 20.
3. High in rank or position. [Obs.] Chaucer.
- Much, n.
1. A great quantity; a great deal; also, an indefinite quantity; as, “you have as much as I”.
He that gathered much had nothing over. Ex. xvi. 18.
☞ Muchin this sense can be regarded as an adjective qualifying a word unexpressed, and may, therefore, be modified by as, so, too, very.
2. A thing uncommon, wonderful, or noticeable; something considerable.
And [he] thought not much to clothe his enemies. Milton.
To make much of, to treat as something of especial value or worth.
- Much, adv. [Cf. Icel. mjök. See Much, a.] To a great degree or extent; greatly; abundantly; far; nearly. “Much suffering heroes.” Pope.
Thou art much mightier than we. Gen. xxvi. 16.
Excellent speech becometh not a fool, much less do lying lips a prince. Prov. xvii. 7.
Henceforth I fly not death, nor would prolong
Life much. Milton.
All left the world much as they found it. Sir W. Temple.
Definition of much by GCIDE Dictionary