much

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English muche (much, great), apocopated variant of muchel (much, great), from Old English myċel, miċel (large, great, much), from Proto-Germanic *mikilaz (great, many, much), from Proto-Indo-European *meǵa- (big, stour, great), *meǵh₂-. See also mickle, muckle.

Pronunciation[edit]

Determiner[edit]

much (comparative more, superlative most)

  1. (obsolete) Large, great. [12th-16th c.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book XX:
      And so there cam strydyng a good knyght – a much man and a large, and hys name was called Sir Collgrevaunce of Goore [...].
  2. A large amount of. [from 13th c.]
    • 1816, Jane Austen, Persuasion:
      As it was, he did nothing with much zeal, but sport; and his time was otherwise trifled away, without benefit from books or anything else.
    • 2011, "Wisconsin and wider", The Economist, 24 Feb 2011:
      Unless matters take a nastier turn, neither side has much incentive to compromise.
  3. (now archaic or nonstandard) A great number of; many (people). [from 13th c.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book XX:
      ‘Sir Launcelot woll abyde me and us all wythin the castell of Joyous Garde – and muche peple drawyth unto hym, as I here say.’
    • 1526, Bible, tr. William Tyndale, Matthew VI:
      When Jesus was come downe from the mountayne, moch people folowed him.
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula:
      There wasn't much people about that day.
  4. (now Caribbean, African-American) Many ( + plural countable noun). [from 13th c.]
    • 1977, Bob Marley ‘So Much Things to Say’:
      They got so much things to say right now, they got so much things to say.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Much is now generally used with uncountable nouns. The equivalent used with countable nouns is many. In positive contexts, much is widely avoided: I have a lot of money instead of I have much money. There are some exceptions to this, however: I have much hope for the future.
  • Unlike many determiners, much is frequently modified by intensifying adverbs, as in “too much”, “very much”, “so much”, “not much”, and so on. (The same is true of many.)

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

much (comparative more, superlative most)

  1. To a great extent.
    • 2011 October 20, Michael da Silva, “Stoke 3-0 Macc Tel-Aviv”, BBC Sport:
      Tangling with Ziv, Cameron caught him with a flailing elbow, causing the Israeli defender to go down a little easily. However, the referee was in no doubt, much to the displeasure of the home fans.
    • 2013 June 8, “The new masters and commanders”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 52: 
      From the ground, Colombo’s port does not look like much. Those entering it are greeted by wire fences, walls dating back to colonial times and security posts. For mariners leaving the port after lonely nights on the high seas, the delights of the B52 Night Club and Stallion Pub lie a stumble away.
    I don't like fish much.
    He is much fatter than I remember him.
    He left her, much to the satisfaction of her other suitor.
  2. Often; frequently.
    Does he get drunk much?

Usage notes[edit]

  • As a verb modifier in positive contexts, much must be modified by another adverb: I like fish very much, I like fish so much, etc. but not *I like fish much.
  • As a comparative intensifier, many can be used instead of much if it modifies the comparative form of many, i.e. more with a countable noun: many more people but much more snow.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

much

  1. A large amount or great extent.
    From those to whom much has been given much is expected.

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Polish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

much

  1. Genitive plural of mucha.