mid-12c., multeplier, "to cause to become many," 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." Mathematical sense is attested from late 14c. Related: Multiplied; multiplying.
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