abundance

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English abundaunce, habaundance,[1] from Old French habundance[2], abondance, from Latin abundantia (fullness, plenty), from abundō (to overflow). See abound.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

abundance (plural abundances)

  1. A large quantity; many. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.][2]
  2. An overflowing fullness or ample sufficiency; profusion; copious supply; superfluity; plentifulness. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][2]
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir Walter Raleigh
      It is lamentable to remember what abundance of noble blood hath been shed with small benefit to the Christian state.
  3. Wealth; affluence; plentiful amount of resources. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][2]
  4. Frequency, amount, ratio of something within a given environment or sample. [First attested in the late 19th century.][2]
  5. (card games) A bid to take nine or more tricks in solo whist. [First attested in the late 19th century.][2]

Usage notes[edit]

  • Synonym notes: Abundance, Plenty, Exuberance. These words rise upon each other in expressing the idea of fullness.
    • Plenty denotes a sufficiency to supply every want; as, plenty of food, plenty of money, etc.
    • Abundance express more, and gives the idea of superfluity or excess; as, abundance of riches, an abundance of wit and humor; often, however, it only denotes plenty in a high degree.
    • Exuberance rises still higher, and implies a bursting forth on every side, producing great superfluity or redundance; as, an exuberance of mirth, an exuberance of animal spirits, etc.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], ISBN 0-87779-101-5), page 8
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 10