Of all the many nouns referring to a large group of things, one of the most fun is slew, as in "I saw a whole slew of birds in the tree by the river."

American English is constantly evolving, its richness coming from the many languages feeding into it. The noun slew, for instance, is from the Irish Gaelic sluagh, meaning "multitude." As an unrelated verb, it's the past tense of slay.

Definitions of slew
  1. noun
    (often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent
    “a slew of journalists”
    synonyms: batch, deal, flock, good deal, great deal, hatful, heap, lot, mass, mess, mickle, mint, mountain, muckle, passel, peck, pile, plenty, pot, quite a little, raft, sight, spate, stack, tidy sum, wad
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    barrage, deluge, flood, flurry, inundation, torrent
    an overwhelming number or amount
    a mass of hay piled up in a barn for preservation
    type of:
    large indefinite amount, large indefinite quantity
    an indefinite quantity that is above the average in size or magnitude
  2. verb
    move obliquely or sideways, usually in an uncontrolled manner
    synonyms: skid, slide, slip, slue
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    move forward or under in a sliding motion
    slide without control
    slide sideways through the air in a downward direction in an airplane along an inclined lateral axis
    type of:
    move smoothly and effortlessly
  3. verb
    turn sharply; change direction abruptly
    synonyms: curve, cut, sheer, slue, swerve, trend, veer
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    peel off
    leave a formation
    swerve off course momentarily
    type of:
    change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense
Word Family