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Alternative forms[edit]


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



abundance (countable and uncountable, plural abundances)

  1. A large quantity; many. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.][2]
    Synonyms: heap, load; see also Thesaurus:lot
    Due to the abundance of art material, the class made a giant collage.
    There is not a great abundance of time, so please don't dawdle.
  2. An overflowing fullness or ample sufficiency; profusion; copious supply; superfluity; plentifulness. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][2]
    Synonyms: exuberance, copiousness, overflow, plenty, plenteousness, plenitude, plentitude; see also Thesaurus:excess
    • c. 1610?, Walter Raleigh, A Discourse of War:
      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]
    Synonyms: riches, affluence, wealth; see also Thesaurus:wealth
  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]
  6. (Scotland) enough, sufficiency.[3]

Usage notes[edit]

  • Synonym notes: abundance, plenty, exuberance. These words express increasing levels of fullness.
    • plenty denotes there is enough to supply every need; e.g., plenty of food, plenty of money, etc.
    • abundance express more, and gives the idea of superfluity or excess; e.g., the abundance of riches, an abundance of wit and humor
    • Exuberance expresses even more, and implies a bursting forth on every side, producing an enormous amount of superfluity or redundancy; e.g. an exuberance of talent, lakes replete with an exuberance of fish


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  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), page 8
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “abundance”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 10.
  3. ^ abundance, n.” in the Dictionary of the Scots Language, Edinburgh: Scottish Language Dictionaries.