Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “number”


noun (SYMBOL)    /ˈnʌm.bər/ US  /-bɚ/
A1 [C] (a sign or symbol representing ) a unit that forms part of the system of counting and calculating : 25, 300, and a billion are all numbers. She's very good with numbers (= good at adding , subtracting , etc.).Numbers generally A1 [C] (written abbreviation no.) a number that is used to mark a particular example of something: They live at number 34 Orchard Street . Please write your credit card number on this form . What's our flight number?Numbers generally A1 [C] (written abbreviation no.) a phone number: I gave him my number.Numbers generallyCommunicating by telephone Grammar:NumberWhen we use the word number, we refer to specific numbers:Grammar:Numbers: first, second, thirdNumbers such as first, second, third are ordinal numbers. We use them to put things in an order. We most commonly use ordinal numbers as determiners. When we use ordinal numbers as determiners (before nouns), we commonly use other determiners such as articles (a/an, the) and possessives (my, your) in front of them:Grammar:Numbers: one, two, threeNumbers such as one, five, eleven, two hundred are cardinal numbers. We most commonly use cardinal numbers as determiners (before nouns). When we use them in this way, we can use other determiners such as articles (a/an, the) and possessives (my, your) in front of them. We can use cardinal numbers + of before determiners (one of my friends):
(Definition of number noun (SYMBOL) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of number

Definitions of “number” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


to mix eggs with a little milk and mix again as they are being fried

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More