Definition of “number” - English Dictionary

“number” in British English

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numbernoun

uk /ˈnʌm.bər/ us /ˈnʌm.bɚ/

number noun (SYMBOL)

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.).

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?

A1 [ C ] written abbreviation no. a phone number:

I gave him my number.

More examples

number noun (AMOUNT)

B1 [ S, + sing/pl verb ] an amount or total:

The number of people killed in traffic accidents fell last month.
There has been an increasing number of cases of the disease.
A small number of children are educated at home.
A large number of invitations has been sent.
Letters of complaint were surprisingly few in number (= there were not many of them).
numbers [ plural ]

a number of a particular description:

Small numbers of children are educated at home.
Large numbers of invitations were sent.
Newspapers are produced in vast numbers.
a number of things

B2 several of a particular type of thing:

I decided not to go, for a number of reasons.

[ S, + sing/pl verb ] a group of people:

On the trip, one of our number fell ill.

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number noun (PARTICULAR THING)

[ C ] a particular copy of a magazine:

Do you have last week's number of the New Yorker?
He's got all the back numbers (= previous copies) of the magazine.

[ C ] informal a piece of clothing, especially a dress, that you admire:

She was wearing a stylish Dior number.

[ C ] US slang a person with a particular characteristic:

He's a real sexy number, don't you think?

[ C ] a short tune or song:

Sing one of those romantic numbers.

[ C usually singular ] mainly US informal something that is often said:

He tried the usual/that old number about how his wife didn't understand him.

numberverb

uk /ˈnʌm.bər/ us /ˈnʌm.bɚ/

(Definition of “number” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“number” in American English

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number noun (SYMBOL)

us /ˈnʌm·bər/ [ C ] plural nos. abbreviation no. a unit or its symbol that forms part of a system of counting and calculating, and that represents an amount or position in a series:

You can write numbers in words, such as six, seven, and eight, or with symbols, such as 6, 7, and 8.

us /ˈnʌm·bər/ [ C ] plural nos. abbreviation no. A number is also a specific set of symbols in a particular order that represent someone or something:

Please write down your Social Security number.

us /ˈnʌm·bər/ [ C ] plural nos. abbreviation no. A number can also be a position in a series:

We’re up to 10 – who has the next number?

number noun (AMOUNT)

us /ˈnʌm·bər/ [ C/U ] an amount or total:

[ C ] Large numbers of people (= A lot of people) crowded the streets.
[ U ] Quite a number of (= Many) cases of the flu have been reported already.

us /ˈnʌm·bər/ [ C/U ] A number of things is several of them:

[ U ] There were a number of causes for the accident.

us /ˈnʌm·bər/ [ C/U ] Any number of things is a lot of them:

[ U ] He’d already heard any number of excuses.

number noun (GRAMMAR)

grammar /ˈnʌm·bər/ [ U ] the forms of words, esp. nouns, pronouns, and verbs, that show whether they are singular or plural

number noun (SONG)

us /ˈnʌm·bər/ [ C ] a song, dance, or other part in a performance:

The last number she sang was a beautiful, slow ballad.

numberverb

us /ˈnʌm·bər/

number verb (GIVE A NUMBER)

[ T ] to give a different number to each of two or more things, esp. in a particular order:

number verb (TOTAL)

[ L ] to be (a total):

The crowd numbered over 100,000.

(Definition of “number” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“number” in Business English

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numbernoun

uk /ˈnʌmbər/ us abbreviation No.

[ C ] a set of numbers that marks a particular person or thing as separate from others of the same type:

account/invoice/order number Include your account number and the name of the fund in which you want to invest.
contact/telephone/mobile number Please leave a contact number.

[ C ] an amount of people or things:

the number of sth The number of employees taking legal action over work-related disease is increasing.
a growing/increasing/declining number Regulators are seeing a growing number of stock frauds directed at small investors.
the maximum/minimum/total number The total number of people in employment has increased by more than 234,000 (16.1%).
a large/record number
a small/limited number
a number of things/reasons/people, etc.

several things, reasons, people, etc.:

There are a number of factors currently influencing stock-price fluctuations.
numbers [ plural ]

FINANCE the information in a company's accounts that shows its financial results and position:

Citigroup described the supermarket's numbers as strong and solid.

used to talk about how many people are involved in something:

customer/passenger/staff numbers Passenger numbers increased 11.3% in the period.
make the numbers

to achieve the expected results, expressed in numbers:

The company culture drove employees to make the numbers without much concern for how they did it.
run the numbers

FINANCE to examine the details of a particular financial situation, usually in order to make a decision about it:

She ran the numbers on her mortgage and realized that refinancing was the right thing to do.

numberverb

uk /ˈnʌmbər/ us

[ T ] to give something a number in a series:

Documents filed under the Act must be numbered.

[ I or T ] if people or things number 100, 1 million, etc., there are that number of them:

At its peak, the workforce involved in building the new airport terminal numbered 50,000.
number in the hundreds/thousands/millions, etc. Their fan base numbers in the tens of millions worldwide.

(Definition of “number” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)