English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English multitude, multitud, multytude ((great) amount or number of people or things; multitudinous),[1] borrowed from Old French multitude (crowd of people; diversity, wide range), or directly from its etymon Latin multitūdō (great amount or number of people or things),[2] from multus (many; much) + -tūdō (suffix forming abstract nouns indicating a state or condition). The English word is analysable as multi- +‎ -itude.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

multitude (plural multitudes)

  1. A great amount or number, often of people; abundance, myriad, profusion.
    Synonym: (Northern England, Scotland) hantel, hantle
    • 1892, Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”, in Leaves of Grass [], Philadelphia, Pa.: David McKay, publisher, [], →OCLC, stanza 51, page 78:
      Do I contradict myself? / Very well then I contradict myself, / (I am large, I contain multitudes.)
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 12: The Cyclops]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, [], →OCLC:
      A torrential rain poured down from the floodgates of the angry heavens upon the bared heads of the assembled multitude which numbered at the lowest computation five hundred thousand persons.
    • 1951 October, R. S. McNaught, “Lines of Approach”, in Railway Magazine, page 703:
      On the other hand, to arrive after dusk, when the multitude of garish little public-houses are lit up, giving glimpses of crowded jostling bars and taprooms, is an introduction to a fine city well calculated to affect even the most nonchalant.
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter XIV, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, →OCLC:
      We found Pop Glossop in his pantry polishing silver, and put in our order. He seemed a little surprised at the inrush of such a multitude, but on learning that our tongues were hanging out obliged with a bottle of the best []
  2. The mass of ordinary people; the masses, the populace.
    Synonym: crowd

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References edit

  1. ^ multitūde, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 3 June 2019.
  2. ^ multitude, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2003; “multitude”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading edit

French edit

Etymology edit

Inherited from Old French multitude.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

multitude f (plural multitudes)

  1. multitude

Further reading edit

Old French edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin multitūdō (great amount or number of people or things), from multus (many; much) + -tūdō (suffix forming abstract nouns indicating a state or condition).

Noun edit

multitude oblique singularf (oblique plural multitudes, nominative singular multitude, nominative plural multitudes)

  1. crowd of people
  2. diversity; wide range

Descendants edit

  • English: multitude
  • French: multitude