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From Middle English abundaunce, habaundance,[1] from Old French habundance[2], abondance, from Latin abundantia (fullness, plenty), from abundō (to overflow). Equivalent to abound +‎ -ance.



abundance (countable and uncountable, plural abundances)

  1. A large quantity; many. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.][2]
    Synonyms: heap, load; see also Thesaurus:lot
    Due to the abundance of art material, the class made a giant collage.
    There is not a great abundance of time, so please don't dawdle.
  2. An overflowing fullness or ample sufficiency; profusion; copious supply; superfluity; plentifulness. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][2]
    Synonyms: exuberance, copiousness, overflow, plenty, plenteousness, plenitude, plentitude; see also Thesaurus:excess
    • c. 1610?, Walter Raleigh, A Discourse of War:
      It is lamentable to remember what abundance of noble blood hath been shed with small benefit to the Christian state.
  3. Wealth; affluence; plentiful amount of resources. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][2]
    Synonyms: riches, affluence, wealth; see also Thesaurus:wealth
  4. Frequency, amount, ratio of something within a given environment or sample. [First attested in the late 19th century.][2]
  5. (card games) A bid to take nine or more tricks in solo whist. [First attested in the late 19th century.][2]
  6. (Scotland) enough, sufficiency.[3]

Usage notesEdit

  • Synonym notes: abundance, plenty, exuberance. These words express increasing levels of fullness.
    • plenty denotes there is enough to supply every need; e.g., plenty of food, plenty of money, etc.
    • abundance express more, and gives the idea of superfluity or excess; e.g., the abundance of riches, an abundance of wit and humor
    • Exuberance expresses even more, and implies a bursting forth on every side, producing an enormous amount of superfluity or redundancy; e.g. an exuberance of talent, lakes replete with an exuberance of fish


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], →ISBN), page 8
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “abundance”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 10.
  3. ^ abundance, n.” in the Dictionary of the Scots Language, Edinburgh: Scottish Language Dictionaries.