Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR NUMBER

You have changed a number of spoken words into a number of pothooks and scrawls.

Heard a number of natives cooeying above our camp, but did not see them.

Our nation is in number more than half that of the British Isles.

I suppose there are a number of girls here, although it's early.

We have saved a number of countries from losing their liberty.

Some declared it impossible any house in that square should hold the number invited.

He then went on to give a number of examples in point, of which we select a few.

The first number of which will be issued under date of April 2.

Rib roasts should be bought by designating the number of ribs.

I happen to know one of our number who can write a very enviable hand.

WORD ORIGIN

c.1300, "sum, aggregate of a collection," from Anglo-French noumbre, Old French nombre and directly from Latin numerus "a number, quantity," from PIE root *nem- "to divide, distribute, allot" (related to Greek nemein "to deal out;" see nemesis). Meaning "symbol or figure of arithmatic value" is from late 14c. Meaning "single (numbered) issue of a magazine" is from 1795. The meaning "musical selection" (1885) is from vaudeville theater programs, where acts were marked by a number. Meaning "dialing combination to reach a particular telephone receiver" is from 1879; hence wrong number (1886).

Number one "oneself" is from 1704 (mock-Italian form numero uno attested from 1973); the biblical Book of Numbers (c.1400, Latin Numeri, Greek Arithmoi) so called because it begins with a census of the Israelites. Slang number one and number two for "urination" and "defecation" attested from 1902. Number cruncher is 1966, of machines; 1971, of persons. To get or have (someone's) number "have someone figured out" is attested from 1853. The numbers "illegal lottery" is from 1897, American English.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR NUMBER

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.