much

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See also: múch

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, micel (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-16thc.]
    • 1485, Syr Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Bk.XX, Ch.iiij:
      Thenne launcelot vnbarred the dore / and with his lyfte hand he held it open a lytel / so that but one man myghte come in attones / and soo there came strydyng a good knyghte a moche man and large / and his name was Colgreuaunce / of Gore / and he with a swerd strake at syr launcelot myȝtely and he put asyde the stroke
  2. A large amount of. [from 13thc.]
    • 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 February:
      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 13thc.]
    • 1485, Syr Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Bk.XX, Ch.x:
      ye shall not nede to seke hym soo ferre sayd the Kynge / for as I here saye sir Launcelot will abyde me and yow in the Ioyous gard / and moche peple draweth vnto hym as I here saye
    • 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 13thc.]
    • 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.
    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.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall, The Squire's Daughter, Ch.I:
      They stayed together during three dances, went out on to the terrace, explored wherever they were permitted to explore, paid two visits to the buffet, and enjoyed themselves much in the same way as if they had been school-children surreptitiously breaking loose from an assembly of grown-ups.
    • 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.
  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