number1 W1S1 [ˈnʌmbə US -bər] n
3¦(in a set/list)¦
4¦(for recognizing somebody/something)¦
6 numbers
9 have somebody's number
10 black/elegant etc (little) number
11 somebody's number comes up
12 somebody's number is up
13 the numbers
14 by numbers
15 do a number on somebody/something
16 beyond/without number
17¦(group of people)¦
[Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: nombre, from Latin numerus]
1.) ¦(NUMBER)¦
a word or sign that represents an amount or a quantity
→↑numeral, figure ↑figure
They wrote various numbers on a large sheet of paper.
Five was her lucky number.
an even number (=2, 4, 6, 8, 10 etc)
an odd number (=1, 3, 5, 7, 9 etc)
round number
(=a number ending in 0)
A million pounds seemed a suitably round number.
be good/bad/no good with numbers informal (=to be good, bad etc at calculating things using numbers)
2.) ¦(PHONE)¦
a phone number
My new number is 502-6155.
sb's home/office/work number
I gave him my home number.
mobile/fax number
What's your mobile number?
Sorry, you have the wrong number .
3.) ¦(IN A SET/LIST)¦
a number used to show the position of something in an ordered set or list
Answer question number 4.
a number 17 bus
→↑E number, No. 10, number one1
a set of numbers used to name or recognize someone or something
model/account etc number
What is your account number, please?
Press 1 to change the printer number.
Did you get the number (=registration number) of the car? BrE
5.) ¦(AMOUNT)¦ [U and C]
an amount of something that can be counted
= ↑quantity the number of sth
The number of cars on our roads rose dramatically last year.
a number of sth
We have been friends for a number of years.
a large/small/significant/growing etc number of sth
Doctors believe only a tiny number of people are at risk.
The lake produces a good number of (=a lot of) salmon each season.
There was an unusually high number of entries in the competition.
They were printed in limited numbers .
Young people have been leaving the countryside in large numbers for urban areas.
Today's case brings the number of successful prosecutions in the region to (=makes the number rise to) thirty-four.
There could be any number of (=many) reasons why she's late.
The condors have dwindled to an estimated sixty in number .
6.) numbers [plural]
how many people there are, especially people attending an event or doing an activity together
Can you give me some idea of numbers?
student/client etc numbers
Visitor numbers increase in the summer.
The sheer weight of numbers (=large number of people) on stage made the performance more impressive.
7.) ¦(MUSIC)¦
a piece of popular music that forms part of a longer performance
Madonna sang several numbers from her latest album.
8.) ¦(MAGAZINE)¦ BrE
a copy of a magazine or newspaper printed on a particular date
= ↑issue number of
I was reading the latest number of 'Surfing'.
back numbers (=old copies) of The Times
9.) have sb's number informal
to understand something about someone that helps you deal with them
Judy had always had his number.
10.) black/elegant etc (little) number informal
a black, ↑elegant etc dress or suit, especially a woman's
She was wearing a chic little number.
11.) sb's number comes up
someone has the winning number in a competition
12.) sb's number is up also sb's number has come up informal
a) used to say that someone will stop being lucky or successful
b) used to say that someone will die - used humorously
She told her husband she didn't mind going when her number was up.
13.) the numbers
a) information about something that is shown using numbers
Chris, have you got the numbers yet?
b) an illegal game in the US in which people risk money on the appearance of a combination of numbers in a newspaper
playing the numbers
14.) by numbers
if you do something by numbers, you do it in a basic way by following a set of simple instructions - used to show disapproval
The last thing we want is teaching by numbers.
15.) do a number on sb/sth informal
to hurt or damage someone or something badly
Tod really did a number on the old house. I don't envy the new tenants.
16.) beyond/without number
literary if things are beyond number, there are so many of them that no one could count them all
17.) ¦(GROUP OF PEOPLE)¦[U] formal
a group of people
one/two/several etc of our/their number
Only three of our number could speak Italian.
They wanted to choose a leader from among their own number .
18.) ¦(GRAMMAR)¦[U]
technical the form of a word, depending on whether one thing or more than one thing is being talked about
'Horses' is plural in number, while 'horse' is singular.
number 2
number2 v
1.) [T]
to give a number to something that is part of an ordered set or list
They haven't numbered the pages of the report.
All the seats in the theatre are numbered.
Each check is numbered consecutively .
a numbering system
number sth (from) 1 to 10/100 etc
Number the questions 1 to 25.
2.) [linking verb]
if people or things number a particular amount, that is how many there are
The population of the town numbered about 5,000.
The men on strike now number 5% of the workforce.
3.) sb's/sth's days are numbered
used to say that someone or something cannot live or continue for much longer
I knew my days were numbered at that firm.
4.) number among sth/be numbered among sth
formal to be included as one of a particular group
He was a successful corporate lawyer who numbered among his clients J.P. Morgan and Standard Oil.
5.) [T] literary
to count something
Who can number the stars?
number off phr v
if soldiers number off, each one calls out their number when their turn comes
American Equivalent: count off

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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