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.


muchness (countable and uncountable, plural muchnesses)

  1. Large size or bulk; bigness; size; magnitude (large or small).
  2. Greatness in quantity, number, amount, or degree.
    much of a muchness


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