Etymology
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multiple (adj.)

"involving many parts or relations; consisting of more than one complete individual," 1640s, from French multiple (14c.), from Late Latin multiplus "manifold," from Latin multi- "many, much" (see multi-) + -plus "-fold" (see -plus).

The noun is from 1680s in arithmetic, "a number produced by multiplying another by a whole number," from the adjective. Multiple choice in reference to a question in which the subject selects an answer from several options is attested by 1915. Multiple exposure "repeated exposure of the same frame of film" is recorded by 1891. In psychology, multiple personality is attested by 1886. The chronic, progressive disease multiple sclerosis is so called by 1877, because it occurs in patches (see sclerosis).

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multiplicity (n.)

"state of being manifold or various," mid-15c., multiplicite, from Old French multiplicité or directly from Late Latin multiplicitas "manifoldness, multiplicity," from Latin multiplic-, stem of multiplex "many times as great in number" (see multiple). Related: Multiplicitous.

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multiplex (adj.)

"manifold, multiple, multiplicate," 1550s, from Latin multiplex "having many folds; many times as great in number; of many parts" (see multiply). As a noun, late 14c. in arithmetic, "a multiple."

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sorosis (n.)

"consolidated fleshy multiple fruit" (such as a pineapple), 1831, from Modern Latin, from Greek sōros "a heap" (of corn), which is of uncertain origin.

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polysemy (n.)

"fact of having multiple meanings," 1900, from French polysémie (1897), from Medieval Latin polysemus, from Greek polysemos "of many senses or meanings," from polys "many" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill") + sēma "sign" (see semantic). Related: Polysemic.

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revolver (n.)

"revolving firearm," originally and especially a type of pistol able to fire multiple shots without reloading, 1835, agent noun from revolve (v.). So called by U.S. inventor Samuel Colt (1814-1862) for its revolving bored barrel (later models used a revolving chamber cylinder).

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network (n.)

1550s, "net-like arrangement of threads, wires, etc., anything formed in the manner of or presenting the appearance of a net or netting," from net (n.) + work (n.). Extended sense of "any complex, interlocking system" is from 1839 (originally in reference to transport by rivers, canals, and railways). Meaning "broadcasting system of multiple transmitters" is from 1914; sense of "interconnected group of people" is by 1934 in psychology jargon.

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polygeny (n.)

1864, in anthropology, "the doctrine that the human race is not one but consists of many distinct species" (opposed to monogeny or monogenism), from Late Greek polygenēs "of many kinds," from polys "many" (see poly-) + -genēs "born" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget"). By c. 1970 the same word was used in a different sense, in reference to the theory that multiple genes contribute to the form or variant of some particular trait of an organism. Another word for the anthropological theory was polygenism (1857).

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polygraph (n.)

1794, "mechanical device for making multiple copies of something written or drawn," from Greek polygraphos "writing much," from polys "much, many" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill") + graphos "writing," from graphein "to write" (see -graphy). Meaning "instrument for recording several pulsations of the body at the same time" (devised by Chauveau and Marey) is in English by 1871; the machine was first used as a lie detector 1921. Related: Polygraphy (1590s as a system of secret writing; 1660s as "voluminous writing"); polygraphic (1771).

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manifold (adj.)

"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.

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