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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English manifold, from Old English maniġfeald (manifold, various, varied, complicated, numerous, abundant, plural), from Proto-Germanic *managafalþaz, equivalent to many +‎ -fold. Cognate with Middle High German manecvalt (manifold), Icelandic margfaldr (multiple). Compare also German mannigfaltig (various), Dutch menigvoudig (various), Danish mangefold (multiple), Swedish mångfald (diversity).


manifold (plural manifolds)

  1. (now historical) A copy made by the manifold writing process.
  2. (mechanics) A pipe fitting or similar device that connects multiple inputs or outputs.
  3. (US, regional, in the plural) The third stomach of a ruminant animal, an omasum.
    • 1830 Anson, Somerset Co. Me., accessed 12 June 2007
      My conjecture being right he will find the third stomach, or manifolds, the seat of difficulty.
  4. (mathematics) A topological space that looks locally like the "ordinary" Euclidean space   and is Hausdorff.
  5. (computer graphics) A polygon mesh representing the continuous, closed surface of a solid object
Usage notesEdit

In mathematics, a manifold of some number of dimensions n is termed an n-manifold (e.g. 3-manifold).

Derived termsEdit


manifold (comparative more manifold, superlative most manifold)

  1. Various in kind or quality; diverse.
    The manifold meanings of the simple English word set are infamous among dictionary makers.
  2. Many in number, numerous; multiple, multiplied.
  3. Complicated.
  4. Exhibited at diverse times or in various ways.
    c1384 ... the manyfold grace of God. — I Petre 4:10 (Wycliffe's Bible)
    1611 The manifold wisdom of God.Ephesians 3:10. (w:King James Bible)



Derived termsEdit


manifold (comparative more manifold, superlative most manifold)

  1. Many times; repeatedly.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.xii:
      when his daughter deare he does behold, / Her dearely doth imbrace, and kisseth manifold.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English manifolden, from Old English maniġfealdan (to multiply, abound, increase, extend, reward), equivalent to many +‎ -fold. Cognate with Middle High German manecvalten, Icelandic margfalda (to multiply), Swedish mångfaldiga (to manifold, reproduce).


manifold (third-person singular simple present manifolds, present participle manifolding, simple past and past participle manifolded)

  1. (transitive) To make manifold; multiply.
  2. (transitive, printing) To multiply or reproduce impressions of by a single operation.