From Middle English muchelnesse, michelnesse (“greatness, magnitude”), from Old English miċelnes, myċelnes (“greatness, size, mass, quantity, multitude, abundance, magnificence, great deed”), equivalent to much + -ness. Cognate with Old High German michilnessi (“greatness, magnitude”). Compare also mickleness.
- Large size or bulk; bigness; size; magnitude (large or small).
- Greatness in quantity, number, amount, or degree.
Three examples from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, all using the phrase the muchness of the business:
- 1666: the muchness of his business cannot suffer him to mind it, or give him leisure to reflect on anything — Entry 15 Aug 1666
- 1667/68: This troubled me so much as, together with the shortness of the time and muchness of the business, did let me be at it till but about ten at night — Entry 4 March 1667/68
- 1668/69: my head a little troubled with the muchness of the business I have upon me at present — Entry 27 March 1668/69