abound (third-person singular simple present abounds, present participle abounding, simple past and past participle abounded)

  1. (intransitive) To be full to overflowing. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).][1]
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) To be wealthy. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the mid 18th century.][1]
  3. (intransitive) To be highly productive.
  4. (intransitive) To be present or available in large numbers or quantities; to be plentiful. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).][1]
    Wild animals abound wherever man does not stake his claim.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Romans 5:20:
      Moreouer, the Lawe entred, that the offence might abound: but where sinne abounded, grace did much more abound.
    • 1960 December, “New G.E. Line diesel loco maintenance depot at Stratford”, in Trains Illustrated, page 766:
      One end of the east-west building is wet, the other windy, and at present there is smoke abounding, too; but these distressing yard elements can be completely excluded at each end by full-width folding doors [...].
  5. (intransitive) To revel in. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 18th century.][1]
  6. To be copiously supplied. [with in or with ‘something’]
    The wilderness abounds in traps.
    This pond abounds with fish.
    • 1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], “A Further Account of Glubbdubdrib. []”, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. [] [Gulliver’s Travels], volume II, London: [] Benj[amin] Motte, [], →OCLC, part III (A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Glubbdubdribb, Luggnagg, and Japan), page 108:
      I could plainly diſcover from whence one Family derives a long Chin; why a ſecond hath abounded with Knaves for two Generations, and Fools for two more; why a third happened to be crack-brained, and a fourth to be Sharpers.
    • 1858-1860, George Rawlinson, The Five Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World
      the wild boar, which abounds both in Azerbijan and in the country about Hamadan

Usage notes


Derived terms



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See also



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief, William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “abound”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 7.