Webster's Dictionary 1828 - Online Edition

Webster's Dictionary 1828

Americal Dictionary of the English Language

American Dictionary
English Language

Dictionary Search


NUM'BER, noun [Probably the radical sense is to speak, name or tell, as our word tell, in the other dialects, is to number number may be allied to name, as the Spaniards use nombre for name, and the French word written with the same letters, is number ]

1. The designation of a unit reference to other units, or in reckoning, counting, enumerating; as, one is the first number; a simple number

2. An assemblage of two or more units. Two is a number composed of one and one added. Five and three added make the number eight. number may be applied to any collection or multitude of units or individuals, and therefore is indefinite, unless defined by other words or by figures or signs of definite signification. Hence,

3. More than one; many.

Ladies are always of great use to the party they espouse, and never fail to win over numbers.

4. Multitude.

Number itself importeth not much in armies, where the men are of weak courage.

5. In poetry, measure; the order and quantity of syllables constituting feet, which render verse musical to the ear. The harmony of verse consists in the proper distribution of the long and short syllables, with suitable pauses. In oratory, a judicious disposition of words, syllables and cadences constitutes a kind of measure resembling poetic numbers.

6. Poetry; verse.

I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came.

Here the first word numbers may be taken for poetry or verse, and the second for measure.

Yet shoud the Muses bid my numbers roll.

7. In grammar, the difference of termination or form of a word, to express unity or plurality. The termination which denotes one or an individual, is the singular number; the termination that denotes two or more individuals or units, constitues the plural number Hence we say, a noun, an adjective, a pronoun or a verb is in the singular or the plural number

8. In mathematics, number is variously distinguished. cardinal numbers are those which express the amount of units; as Ordinal numbers are those which express order; as first, second, third, fourth, etc.

Determinate number is that referred to a given unit, as a ternary or three; an indeterminate number is referred to unity in general, and called quantity.

Homogeneal numbers, are those referred to the same units; those referred to different units are termed heterogeneal.

Whole numbers, are called integers.

A rational number is one commensurable with unity. A number incommensurable with unity, is termed irrational or surd.

A prime or primitive number is divisible only by unity; as three, five, seven, etc.

A perfect number is that whose aliquot parts added together, make the whole number as 28, whose aliquot parts, 14. 7. 4. 2. 1. make the number 28.

An imperfect number is that whose aliquot parts added together, make more or less than the number This is abundant or defedtive; abundant, as 12, whose aliquot parts, 6. 4. 3. 2. 1. make 16; or defective, as 16 whose aliquot parts, 8. 4. 2. 1. make 15 only.

A square number is the product of a number multiplied by itself; as, 16 is the square number of four.

A cubic number is the product of a square number by its root; as, 27 is the product of the square number 9 by its root 3.

Golden number the cycle of the moon, or revolution of 19 years, in which time the conjunctions, oppositions and other aspects of the moon are nearly the same as they were on the same days of the month 19 years before.

NUM'BER, verb transitive

1. To count; to reckon; to ascertain the units of any sum, collection or multitude.

If a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Genesis 8:1.

2. To reckon as one of a collection or multitude.

He was numbered with the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12.