multitudinous

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From (the stem of) Latin multitūdō +‎ -ous.

Adjective[edit]

multitudinous (comparative more multitudinous, superlative most multitudinous)

  1. (modifying a plural noun) Existing in great numbers; innumerable. [from 17th c.]
    • c. 1605, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act II, Scene 2,[1]
      Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
      Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
      The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
      Making the green one red.
    • 1876, John Quincy Adams, Diary entry dated 9 September, 1833 in Charles Francis Adams (editor), Memoirs of John Quincy Adams, Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, Volume 9, p. 14,[2]
      In the multitudinous whimseys of a disabled mind and body, the thick-coming fancies often occur to me that the events which affect my life and adventures are specially shaped to disappoint my purposes.
    • 1934, George Orwell, Burmese Days, Chapter 14,[3]
      Whichever way one looked one’s view was shut in by the multitudinous ranks of trees, and the tangled bushes and creepers that struggled round their bases like the sea round the piles of a pier.
  2. Comprised of a large number of parts.
    • 1625, Peter Heylin, Mikrokosmos: A Little Description of the Great World, Augmented and revised, Oxford, “The Grecian Iles,” p. 424,[4]
      [] he feared no enemies but the Sea and the Earth; the one yeelding no safe harbour for such a Navie; the other not yeelding sufficient sustenance for so multitudinous an Armie.
    • 1882, Walt Whitman, Specimen Days & Collect, Philadelphia: Rees Welsh & Co., entry dated 26 August, 1879, p. 138,[]
      [] looking up a long while at the grand high roof with its graceful and multitudinous work of iron rods, angles, gray colors, plays of light and shade, receding into dim outlines []
    • 1916, Carl Sandburg, “Monotone” in Chicago Poems, New York: Henry Holt & Co., p. 118,[5]
      The monotone of the rain is beautiful,
      And the sudden rise and slow relapse
      Of the long multitudinous rain.
  3. Crowded with many people.
    • 1818, Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Revolt of Islam, London: C. & J. Ollier, Canto 12, Stanza I, p. 250,[6]
      The transport of a fierce and monstrous gladness
      Spread thro’ the multitudinous streets, fast flying
      Upon the winds of fear []
    • 1919, Max Beerbohm, “A. V. Laider” in Seven Men, London: William Heinemann, p. 142,[7]
      In multitudinous London the memory of A. V. Laider and his trouble had soon passed from my mind.
  4. Coming from or produced by a large number of beings or objects.
    • 1898, H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, Book One, Chapter 16,[8]
      The multitudinous shouting confused his ears.
    • 1950, Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast, New York: Ballantine, 1968, Chapter 36, p. 261,[9]
      [] she paused before she opened the doors of the salon, for a loud and confused noise came from within. It was of a kind that she had never heard before, so happy it was, so multitudinous, so abandoned—the sound of voices at play.
  5. (obsolete) Of or relating to the multitude, of the common people.
    • c. 1607, William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, Act III, Scene 1,[10]
      [you] that prefer
      A noble life before a long, and wish
      To jump a body with a dangerous physic
      That’s sure of death without it, at once pluck out
      The multitudinous tongue; let them not lick
      The sweet which is their poison []

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