1 NUMBER (C) a word or sign which represents an amount or a quantity: Add together the following numbers: 1027, 643, and 378. | high/low number: Choose a fairly low number - under 100, say. | even number (=2, 4, 6, 8, 10 etc) | odd number (=1, 3, 5, 7, 9 etc) | round number (=a number ending in 0): I'll give her -17 - no, make it -20. That's a good round number. | be good/no good etc with numbers informal (=to be good, bad etc at calculating things using numbers)—see also: cardinal number, ordinal number, prime number, whole number2 IN A SET/LIST (C) a number used to show the position of something in an ordered set or list: We live at 107 Castle Street. | Answer question number 4. | a number 17 bus—see also: E number, No. 10, number one 13 model/account/fax etc number a number used to communicate with someone, to find information about someone or something etc: What is your account number, please?—see also: box number, PIN, serial number4 TELEPHONE a telephone number: My new number is 502655. | sb's home/office/work number: I gave him my home number. | wrong number: “Is that 70348?” - “No, I'm afraid you have the wrong number.”5 CAR BrE the official series of numbers and letters shown on a motor vehicle; registration number: Did you get the number of the car?6 AMOUNT (singular) also numbers plural an amount of something that can be counted; a quantity: The number of cars on our roads rose dramatically last year. | Estimates put the number of deaths at between three and five thousand. | a large/great/small etc number of also large/great/small etc numbers of: Doctors believe only a tiny number of people are at risk. | in large/great/small etc numbers: They were printed in limited numbers. | bring the number of sth to five/ten etc: This latest bomb brings the number of terrorist attacks this year to seven. | ten/twelve etc in number formal: A small number of protesters, about 20 in number, gathered outside.—see amount 17 numbers (plural) how many people there are, especially people attending an event or doing an activity together: Can you give me some idea of numbers? | student/client etc numbers: Visitor numbers increase in the summer.8 by (sheer) force/weight of numbers if a group of people is defeated by force of numbers, it is defeated because many more people are attacking or opposing it9 a number of formal several: She has written a number of articles for the local paper. | a good number of/quite a number of (=a lot of): Darke knew a good number of people with government connections. | a number of ways/reasons/factors etc (=various different ways etc): These paintings differ from his earlier ones in a number of ways. | any number of: There could be any number of reasons why she's late.10 some/none/20 etc of sb's number formal some etc of a group of people: Only three of our number could speak Italian.11 MUSIC (C) a piece of popular music that forms part of a longer performance: Madonna sang several numbers from her latest album.—see also: production number12 a recent/an old/last month's number BrE a copy of a magazine printed recently, a long time ago etc; issue 1 (2) AmE: back number (=an old copy of a magazine)13 have sb's number informal to understand something about someone that helps you deal with them: You'll never fool her, Mike - she's got your number!14 sb's number is up/has come up informal someone will suffer or be punished: Your number's up Hanks!15 black/elegant etc (little) number informal a black etc dress: Sue turned up in a very elegant number.16 sb's number comes up someone has the winning number in a competition17 the number of times I've spoken used to say that you have done something many times, without any result: Honestly, the number of times I've told that girl not to walk home alone.18 the numbers an illegal game in the US in which people risk money on the appearance of a combination of numbers in a newspaper: playing the numbers19 beyond/without number literary if things are beyond number, there are so many of them that no one could count them all20 GRAMMAR (U) technical the form of a word, depending on whether one thing or more than one thing is being talked about: `Horses' is plural in number, `horse' is singular.2 verb1 (T) to give a number to something that is part of an ordered set or list: They haven't numbered the pages of the report. | All the seats in the theatre are numbered. | number sth (from) 1 to 10/100 etc: Number the questions 1 to 25. | a numbering system2 his/their/its days are numbered someone or something cannot live or continue much longer3 number several thousands/almost a million etc to be several thousands etc: The crowd numbered at least 7000. | The men on strike now number 5% of the workforce.4 number among/ be numbered among formal to be included as one of a particular group: Amis numbers among the best of our younger writers.5 (T) literary to count: Who can number the stars?number off phrasal verb (I) BrE technical if soldiers number off, they call out their number when their turn comes; count off AmE
Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.