Consisting of a great number; numerous; not few. "Thou shalt be a father of many nations." (Gen. Xvii. 4) "Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." (1 Cor. I. 26)
Many is freely prefixed to participles, forming compounds which need no special explanation; as, many-angled, many-celled, many-eyed, many-footed, many-handed, many-leaved, many-lettered, many-named, many-peopled, many-petaled, many-seeded, many-syllabled (polysyllabic), many-tongued, many-voiced, many-wived, and the like. Comparison is often expressed by many with as or so. "As many as were willing hearted . . . Brought bracelets." . "So many laws argue so many sins." Many stands with a singular substantive with a or an. Many a, a large number taken distributively; each one of many. "For thy sake have I shed many a tear." . "Full many a gem of purest ray serene." . Many one, many a one; many persons. The many, the majority; opposed to the few. See Many, Too many, too numerous; hence, too powerful; as, they are too many for us.
Origin: It has no variation to express degrees of comparison; more and most, which are used for the comparative and superlative degrees, are from a different root] [OE. Mani, moni, AS. Manig, maenig, monig; akin to D. Menig, OS. & OHG. Manag, G. Manch, Dan. Mange, Sw. Mange, Goth. Manags, OSlav. Mnog', Russ. Mnogii; cf. Icel. Margr, Prov. E. Mort.
(01 Mar 1998)
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