mid-12c., multeplien, "to cause to become many, cause to increase in number or quantity," from Old French multiplier, mouteplier (12c.) "increase, get bigger; flourish; breed; extend, enrich," from Latin multiplicare "to increase," from multiplex (genitive multiplicis) "having many folds, many times as great in number," from combining form of multus"much, many" (see multi-) + -plex "-fold," from PIE root *plek- "to plait."
Intransitive sense of "grow or increase in number or extent" (especially "to have children, produce offspring") is from mid-14c. Mathematical sense "perform the process of multiplication" is attested from late 14c. Related: Multiplied; multiplying.
port and island in Michigan in the straits connecting lakes Michigan and Huron, from Mackinac, from Ojibway (Algonquian) mitchimakinak "many turtles," from mishiin- "be many" + mikinaak "snapping turtle."
As a type of flat-bottomed, flat-sided boat with a sharp prow and a square stern, 1812, so called because used on the Great Lakes. As a type of heavy blanket given to the Indians by the U.S. government, it is attested from 1822, so called because the fort there was for many years the most remote U.S. spot in the Northwest and many Native Americans received their supplies there..
1829, in reference to a type of rose bearing several flowers on one stem, from Latin multiflora (rosa), from fem. of multiflorus, "abounding in flowers," from multi- "many" (see multi-) + flor-, stem of flos "flower" (see florid). Multiflorous "many-flowered" is attested by 1760, from Latin multiflorus.
a substance built from a large number of simple molecules of the same kind, 1855, probably from German Polymere (Berzelius, 1830), from Greek polymeres "having many parts," from polys "many" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill") + meros "part" (from PIE root *(s)mer- (2) "to get a share of something").