When you consider any amount or measurement, you use a number, like 1, 2, 3, 75, or 998,837,211.

This math-y word has many uses. Playing the numbers is an illegal form of gambling, and number crunchers are accountants. If you're looking out for number one, you're thinking of yourself. When you number something, you're counting it. A number is a song in a musical or concert. If someone "has your number," they know you well. Getting someone's number also means getting their phone number. If your days are numbered, it means you know you're going to die soon.

Primary Meanings of number

a concept of quantity involving zero and units
add up in number or quantity
a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program
a numeral or string of numerals that is used for identification
a select company of people
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)
an item of merchandise offered for sale
Full Definitions of number

n a concept of quantity involving zero and units

“every number has a unique position in the sequence”
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the number of arguments that a function can take
co-ordinate, coordinate
a number that identifies a position relative to an axis
folio, page number, pagination, paging
the system of numbering pages
a number in the decimal system
a number representing a quantity assumed to have a fixed value in a specified mathematical context
oxidation number, oxidation state
the degree of oxidation of an atom or ion or molecule; for simple atoms or ions the oxidation number is equal to the ionic charge
(mathematics) the number of elements in a set or group (considered as a property of that grouping)
the total number counted
any of the numbers (or symbols) that form a product when multiplied together
Fibonacci number
a number in the Fibonacci sequence
prime, prime quantity
a number that has no factor but itself and 1
composite number
an integer that is divisible without remainder by at least one positive integer other than itself and one
a number that expresses the accomplishment of a team or an individual in a game or contest
the number of wins versus losses and ties a team has had
compound number
a quantity expressed in two different units
no., ordinal, ordinal number
the number designating place in an ordered sequence
cardinal, cardinal number
the number of elements in a mathematical set; denotes a quantity but not the order
base, radix
(numeration system) the positive integer that is equivalent to one in the next higher counting place
floating-point number
a number represented in floating-point notation
fixed-point number
a number represented in fixed-point notation
atomic number
the order of an element in Mendeleyev's table of the elements; equal to the number of protons in the nucleus or electrons in the neutral state of an atom of an element
baryon number
a number equal to the difference between the number of baryons and the number of antibaryons in any subatomic structure; it is conserved in all types of particle interactions
a prescribed number
linage, lineage
the number of lines in a piece of printed material
natural number
the number 1 and any other number obtained by adding 1 to it repeatedly
integer, whole number
any of the natural numbers (positive or negative) or zero
a number that is added to another number (the augend)
a number to which another number (the addend) is added
the number from which the subtrahend is subtracted
the number to be subtracted from the minuend
difference, remainder
the number that remains after subtraction; the number that when added to the subtrahend gives the minuend
complex number, complex quantity, imaginary, imaginary number
(mathematics) a number of the form a+bi where a and b are real numbers and i is the square root of -1
second power, square
the product of two equal terms
cube, third power
the product of three equal terms
biquadrate, biquadratic, fourth power, quartic
an algebraic equation of the fourth degree
a number that, when multiplied by itself some number of times, equals a given number
a number to be divided by another number
the number by which a dividend is divided
the number obtained by division
the part of the dividend that is left over when the dividend is not evenly divisible by the divisor
multiplier, multiplier factor
the number by which a multiplicand is multiplied
the number that is multiplied by the multiplier
bowling score
the score in a bowling match
football score
the score in a football game
baseball score
the score of a baseball game
basketball score
the score in a basketball game
Cartesian coordinate
one of the coordinates in a system of coordinates that locates a point on a plane or in space by its distance from two lines or three planes respectively; the two lines or the intersections of the three planes are the coordinate axes
polar coordinate
either of two values that locate a point on a plane by its distance from a fixed pole and its angle from a fixed line passing through the pole
the integer part (positive or negative) of the representation of a logarithm; in the expression log 643 = 2.808 the characteristic is 2
a statistical factor designed to remove the effect of inflation; inflation adjusted variables are in constant dollars
the difference between the totals of the credit and debit sides of an account
Avogadro number, Avogadro's number
the number of molecules in a mole of a substance (approximately 602,250,000,000,000,000,000,000)
Boltzmann's constant
constant used in the calculation of the ideal gas constant
a constant number that serves as a measure of some property or characteristic
cosmological constant
an arbitrary constant in the equations of general relativity theory
equilibrium constant
(chemistry) the ratio of concentrations when equilibrium is reached in a reversible reaction (when the rate of the forward reaction equals the rate of the reverse reaction)
R, gas constant, universal gas constant
(physics) the universal constant in the gas equation: pressure times volume = R times temperature; equal to 8.3143 joules per kelvin per mole
G, constant of gravitation, gravitational constant, universal gravitational constant
(physics) the universal constant relating force to mass and distance in Newton's law of gravitation
Hubble constant, Hubble parameter, Hubble's constant, Hubble's parameter
(cosmology) the ratio of the speed of recession of a galaxy (due to the expansion of the universe) to its distance from the observer; the Hubble constant is not actually a constant, but is regarded as measuring the expansion rate today
ionic charge
the charge on an ion is equal to a constant charge e multiplied by an integer from 1 to 15
a complete number or quantity
blood count
the number of red and white corpuscles in a blood sample
body count
a count of troops killed in an operation or time period
number of copies of a newspaper or magazine that are sold
(library science) the count of books that are loaned by a library over a specified period
head count, headcount
number of people in a particular group
pollen count
the number of pollen grains (usually ragweed) in a standard volume of air over a twenty-four hour period and a specified time and place
sperm count
the number of sperm in an ejaculate
conversion factor
factor by which a quantity that is expressed in one set of units must be multiplied in order to convert it into another set of units
constant of proportionality, factor of proportionality
the constant value of the ratio of two proportional quantities x and y; usually written y = kx, where k is the factor of proportionality
prime number
an integer that has no integral factors but itself and 1
(golf) the unit of scoring in golf is the act of hitting the ball with a club
(golf) a score of one stroke under par on a hole
(golf) a score of one stroke over par on a hole
(sports) the score by which a team or individual is losing
(golf) a score of two strokes over par for a hole
duck, duck's egg
(cricket) a score of nothing by a batsman
(golf) a score of two strokes under par on a hole
double eagle
(golf) a score of three strokes under par on a hole
(games) the score at a particular point or the score needed to win
(sports) the score by which a team or individual is winning
a score of zero in tennis or squash
the score needed to win a match
(golf) the standard number of strokes set for each hole on a golf course, or for the entire course
first, number 1, number one
the first element in a countable series
absolute frequency, frequency
the number of observations in a given statistical category
a cardinal number represented as 1 followed by 100 zeros (ten raised to the power of a hundred)
a cardinal number represented as 1 followed by a googol of zeros (ten raised to the power of a googol)
magic number
the atomic number of an extra stable strongly bound atomic nucleus: 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82 or 126
complex conjugate
either of two complex numbers whose real parts are identical and whose imaginary parts differ only in sign
real, real number
any rational or irrational number
pure imaginary number
an imaginary number of the form a+bi where a is 0
square root
a number that when multiplied by itself equals a given number
cube root
a number that when multiplied three times equals a given number
the dividend of a fraction
the divisor of a fraction
divisor, factor
one of two or more integers that can be exactly divided into another integer
scale factor
a number used as a multiplier in scaling
aliquot, aliquot part
an integer that is an exact divisor of some quantity
aliquant, aliquant part
an integer that is not an exact divisor of some quantity
common multiple
an integer that is a multiple of two or more other integers
an integer that can be divided without remainder into the difference between two other integers
digit, figure
one of the elements that collectively form a system of numeration
large integer
an integer equal to or greater than ten
double digit
a two-digit integer; from 10 to 99
the number of inhabitants (either the total number or the number of a particular race or class) in a given place (country or city etc.)
c, light speed, speed of light
the speed at which light travels in a vacuum; the constancy and universality of the speed of light is recognized by defining it to be exactly 299,792,458 meters per second
Type of:
definite quantity
a specific measure of amount

n 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”
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multiplicity, numerosity, numerousness
a large number
preponderance, prevalence
a superiority in numbers or amount
countlessness, innumerableness
a number beyond counting
bulk, majority
the property resulting from being or relating to the greater in number of two parts; the main part
being or relating to the smaller in number of two parts
the quality of being small in number
the quality of being round numbers
a very large number (especially of people)
Type of:
the relative magnitude of something with reference to a criterion

n a symbol used to represent a number

Arabic numeral, Hindu numeral, Hindu-Arabic numeral
one of the symbols 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0
Roman numeral
a symbol in the old Roman notation; I,V,X,L,C,D,M represent 1,5,10,50,100,500,1000 respectively in Arabic notation
antilog, antilogarithm
the number of which a given number is the logarithm
Type of:
an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance

v add up in number or quantity

add up, amount, come, total
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work out
be calculated
be larger in number
average, average out
amount to or come to an average, without loss or gain
add up to
Type of:
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v enumerate

“We must number the names of the great mathematicians”
itemise, itemize
place on a list of items
Type of:
identify, name
give the name or identifying characteristics of; refer to by name or some other identifying characteristic property

v give numbers to

“You should number the pages of the thesis”
foliate, page, paginate
number the pages of a book or manuscript
Type of:
denominate, designate
assign a name or title to

v determine the number or amount of

count, enumerate, numerate
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count again
count wrongly
conduct a census
add, add together, add up, sum, sum up, summate, tally, tot, tot up, total, tote up
determine the sum of
Type of:
ascertain, determine, find, find out
establish after a calculation, investigation, experiment, survey, or study

v put into a group

Type of:
assort, class, classify, separate, sort, sort out
arrange or order by classes or categories

v place a limit on the number of

keep down
Type of:
circumscribe, confine, limit
restrict or confine, "I limit you to two visits to the pub a day"

n a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program

“it was one of the best numbers he ever did”
act, bit, routine, turn
show-stopper, showstopper, stopper
an act so striking or impressive that the show must be delayed until the audience quiets down
Type of:
performance, public presentation
a dramatic or musical entertainment

n one of a series published periodically

an issue of a newspaper
an additional edition of a newspaper (usually to report a crisis)
Type of:
a publication that appears at fixed intervals

n a numeral or string of numerals that is used for identification

“she refused to give them her Social Security number
identification number
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ABA transit number, BIN, bank identification number
an identification number consisting of a two-part code assigned to banks and savings associations; the first part shows the location and the second identifies the bank itself
license number, registration number
the number on the license plate that identifies the car that bears it
Social Security number
the number of a particular individual's Social Security account
PIN, PIN number, personal identification number
a number you choose and use to gain access to various accounts
Type of:
positive identification
evidence proving that you are who you say you are; evidence establishing that you are among the group of people already known to the system; recognition by the system leads to acceptance

n the number is used in calling a particular telephone

“he has an unlisted number
phone number, telephone number
Type of:
sign, signal, signaling
any nonverbal action or gesture that encodes a message

n a clothing measurement

“a number 13 shoe”
Type of:
the property resulting from being one of a series of graduated measurements (as of clothing)

n a select company of people

“I hope to become one of their number before I die”
Type of:
a social gathering of guests or companions

n 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
Type of:
grammatical category, syntactic category
(grammar) a category of words having the same grammatical properties

n an item of merchandise offered for sale

“she preferred the black nylon number
“this sweater is an all-wool number
Type of:
merchandise, product, ware
commodities offered for sale

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