early 15c., "consisting of a large number," from Latin numerosus "numerous," from numerus "a number" (see number (n.)). Related: Numerously; numerousness.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "assign, allot; take."
It forms all or part of: agronomy; anomie; anomy; antinomian; antinomy; astronomer; astronomy; autonomous; autonomy; benumb; Deuteronomy; economy; enumerate; enumeration; gastronomy; heteronomy; innumerable; metronome; namaste; nemesis; nimble; nim; nomad; nomothetic; numb; numeracy; numeral; numerator; numerical; numerology; numerous; numismatic; supernumerary; taxonomy.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek nemein "to deal out," nemesis "just indignation;" Latin numerus "number;" Lithuanian nuoma "rent, interest;" Middle Irish nos "custom, usage;" German nehmen "to take."
"state of being numerous," 1610s, from Latin numerositatem (nominative numerositas) "a great number, a multitude," from numerosus "numerous," from numerus "a number" (see number (n.)).
1764, in botany, "having numerous stamens," from poly- "much, many" + stem of aner "man, husband" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man"), which is used in botany to mean "stamen, having stamens." From 1854 of humans, "having more than one husband at once." Greek polyandros meant "numerous" (of persons), "populous" (of places); polyanor meant "of many husbands." Related: Polyandrist "woman who has several husbands at once" (1833).
public place of assembly in ancient Athens, where the people met for the discussion of political affairs of the state, from Greek pnyx, which is probably from pyknos "dense, solid; numerous; packed, crowded," a word of uncertain origin.
"of many kinds; numerous in kind or variety; diverse; exhibiting or embracing many points, features, or characteristics," Old English monigfald (Anglian), manigfeald (West Saxon), "various, varied in appearance, complicated; many times magnified; numerous, abundant," from manig (see many) + -feald (see -fold). A Proto-Germanic compound, *managafalþaz (source also of Old Frisian manichfald, Middle Dutch menichvout, German mannigfalt, Swedish mångfalt, Gothic managfalþs), perhaps a loan-translation of Latin multiplex (see multiply).
It retains the original pronunciation of many. Old English also had a verbal form, manigfealdian "to multiply, abound, increase, extend;" in modern times the verb meant "to make multiple copies of by a single operation." Related: Manifoldness.
intransitive verb, c. 1600, used by Shakespeare (only in imperative, aroint thee! "begone!"), obsolete and of obscure origin. "[T]he subject of numerous conjectures, none of which can be said to have even a prima facie probability." [OED]