Definition of much in English:


pronoun & determiner

  • 1[often with negative or in questions] A large amount:

    [as determiner] ‘I didn't get much sleep that night’
    ‘I did so much shopping’
    [as pronoun] ‘he does not eat much’
    ‘they must bear much of the blame’
    • ‘So much it is possible to learn from reading the newspapers and watching the television.’
    • ‘He does not have much free time but when he does he enjoys spending time in his garden.’
    • ‘These stories are rife on the streets and provoke much fear, among the rich and poor equally.’
    • ‘Local drivers will bear much of the cost, through road tolls and vehicle licence fees.’
    • ‘I didn't have much interesting news to offer him, but it was nice just to talk to him.’
    • ‘I am a little afraid to ask what it is, but I do know I will not be eating much of this.’
    • ‘None of the brothers had given much thought to the consequences of their actions.’
    • ‘To be honest I was asleep for much of the flight so I really don't know what happened.’
    • ‘Few argue with the need to improve the shabby eyesore which blights much of Piccadilly.’
    • ‘The whole show was cringingly off the mark and much of the time was just plain boring and pointless.’
    • ‘Technically that's a good thing, as it means there's not much bad going on in the world.’
    • ‘The most important thing is that we're here and there isn't much left for the finish.’
    • ‘It is therefore no wonder that it yields poor crops, in return for much labour and expense.’
    • ‘How do you disagree with much of what the papers print, yet defend to the death their right to print it?’
    • ‘He is thought to have spent much of the previous night at a North Yorkshire guest house.’
    • ‘So much money is going into the city centre and we feel that we're being ignored.’
    • ‘She didn't say much other than what she was up to professionally, but there you go.’
    • ‘There was so much juicy gossip it was hard to pay much attention to the debate.’
    • ‘Often this turns out to be a hoax, clogging up the net and causing much unnecessary anxiety.’
    • ‘So much of modern medicine relies on our understanding of the physiology of the human body.’
    a lot of, a good deal of, a great deal of, a great amount of, a large amount of, plenty of, ample, copious, abundant, plentiful, considerable, substantial
    lots of, loads of, heaps of, masses of, a pile of, piles of, oodles of, tons of, more ... than one can shake a stick at
    lashings of, a shedload of
    gobs of
    a shitload of
    a lot, a good deal, a great deal, plenty
    lots, loads, heaps, masses, oodles, tons
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[as pronoun], [with negative] Used to refer disparagingly to someone or something as being a poor specimen:
      ‘I'm not much of a gardener’
      • ‘Great person, and a huge influence, but didn't have that much of an effect on the album.’
      • ‘Well folks, not much of a story, is it?’
      • ‘The idea wasn't at all simple and so I didn't have much of a chance to run with it.’
      • ‘In an escalating situation neither side has much of a reputation for brinkmanship.’
      • ‘As anyone can see, I'm not much of a scholar when it comes to writing, maybe when it comes to anything.’


  • 1To a great extent; a great deal:

    ‘did it hurt much?’
    ‘thanks very much’
    ‘they did not mind, much to my surprise’
    [with comparative] ‘they look much better’
    • ‘The rich are much more powerful than the poor and will crush them with a level playing field.’
    • ‘Their innovative power and tremendous humour and charm are still very much intact.’
    • ‘Scotland was a much poorer country than England at the time of the Treaty of Union.’
    • ‘In wealthy areas, the total income available to be taxed is much higher than in poor areas.’
    • ‘He was much respected for his willingness to listen, and for the sincerity of his advice.’
    • ‘Such a screenwriter runs the risk of being accused of much more than just poor taste.’
    • ‘Will rushed over to check I was ok, and gave me a much-needed hug, stroking my hair as he did so.’
    • ‘McEwan has always had a twinkle in her eyes and this is going to be very much evident with the new series.’
    • ‘The main river is a much different prospect, with a nice variety of fish falling to maggot.’
    • ‘So much so, that when I do have a task to perform, it seems like a really big deal.’
    • ‘In his studies he was much influenced by the thinking of Gandhi and Reinhold Niebuhr.’
    • ‘Michael will miss his adopted home and the camaraderie and will be much missed in turn.’
    • ‘Sherry has been much reviled by reviewers and accused of literally losing the plot.’
    • ‘It is a gesture that is very much appreciated by myself and Dawn's family in Devon.’
    • ‘The meeting of City fans on Monday revealed that the soul of York City is very much alive.’
    • ‘Yet the poor person is much more likely to spend an additional dollar than a rich person.’
    • ‘He had not much liked the earlier hit he had taken, and he absolutely despised this.’
    • ‘So much did he love playing the trumpet that he had bought a new instrument.’
    • ‘Her shoulders shone with a deepening tan, much different from when he had first seen her.’
    • ‘The dog is a much loved family pet and on these two occasions it was allowed to roam on to the street.’
    greatly, to a great degree, to a great extent, a great deal, a lot, exceedingly, considerably, appreciably, decidedly, indeed
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[usually with negative or in questions] For a large part of one's time; often:
      ‘I'm not there much’
      • ‘He is kind of an egocentric person and I guess if he doesn't read much, he doesn't think anyone does either.’
      • ‘We don't watch tv much, but we spend all of our time on the Internet.’
      • ‘I don't go out much anymore, so a Guide Dog would be wasted on me.’
      often, frequently, many times, on many occasions, on numerous occasions, repeatedly, recurrently, regularly, habitually, customarily, routinely, usually, normally, commonly
      View synonyms


  • as much

    • The same:

      ‘I am sure she would do as much for me’
      • ‘I figured as much: I had a feeling this was the case.’
      • ‘I hoped as much, thanks for confirming that.’
      • ‘Those of us who have to travel on the Northern line have suspected as much for years.’
  • a bit much

    • informal Somewhat excessive or unreasonable:

      ‘his earnestness can be a bit much’
      • ‘The picture above with all the limousines is maybe a bit much, but hey, that's just the kind of place it is.’
      • ‘I knew Labour Ministers lie a bit, but accusing two ministers in one week of hypocrisy is a bit much.’
      • ‘D'you reckon red fishnet sleeves are a bit much for the first day back?’
      • ‘It may have been a bit much to expect Dixon to visit the jazz clubs or to go up to Harlem to listen to some blues, but there was plenty else to do and see.’
      • ‘To describe his uncritical account of the official view as ‘an investigation’ is a bit much.’
      • ‘While still a beautiful location, the over-the-top glitz of St. Tropez is a bit much.’
      • ‘I think he's trying to insert some humour into what could be a dull text, but the persistent labeling is a bit much.’
      • ‘Though I sometimes find Margo a bit much, at least she has something to contribute.’
      • ‘I've been in trouble in the past but a three-year ban is a bit much.’
      • ‘The pregnancy storyline was a bit much and definitely unneeded although it added depth to Dan's family life.’
      • ‘It probably was a bit much to ask them to do it all over again.’
      • ‘I've also realised that I quite like having people about, as long as I have a room to hide out in when it gets a bit much.’
      • ‘If that brings attention that gets a bit much now and again that's something I'll have to learn to deal with.’
      • ‘I will go out for him for the sake of research but really 3 calls in 2 days is a bit much since we haven't even had a date yet!’
      • ‘I don't know exactly what to call what I've just been through in the last 24 hours, but it's all a bit much.’
      • ‘When the tourists pour in to see the autumn leaves, traffic on Skyline Drive can be a bit much.’
      • ‘Yes, all this red wine as emblem and object of worship may get a bit much, of course.’
      • ‘Mind you, while they deserve harsh punishment, nine years might be a bit much.’
      • ‘To say that we developed a keen interest in the subject might be stretching credibility a bit much.’
      • ‘I knew drink was dear in the South but 80 euro for a pint of Harp is a bit much.’
      unacceptable, intolerable, insufferable, unsatisfactory, undesirable, unreasonable, objectionable, insupportable
      not on, out of order, out, not quite the done thing, too much
      a bit thick, a bit off, off, not cricket
      View synonyms
  • make much of

    • Give or ascribe a significant amount of attention or importance to:

      ‘the island can make much of its history as a trading post between Europe and the Arab world’
      ‘Mr Smith was glad to be made much of’
      • ‘The press made much of his motorcycle, leather jackets and T-shirts, his bongo drum playing.’
      • ‘People are making much of Mr Wilson's credibility.’
      • ‘It may be 35 years since the Beatles broke up, but even now Liverpool still makes much of its Fab Four heritage.’
      • ‘In discussing the song ‘Watching the River Flow’, he makes much of what he calls the ‘choppy’ arrangement and how it works against the lyric.’
      • ‘As you know, the Democrats are making much of that relationship with your company.’
      • ‘The two senators today made much of their optimism.’
      • ‘No doubt, additionally, Mr Sage was glad to be made much of, and interested to take part in the preparation of the case.’
      • ‘Mr. Weigel makes much of what he sees as atheistic humanism in Europe, and he calls for a revitalization of Europe's Christian roots.’
      • ‘On the news tonight, a reporter made much of a family's grief and joy, somewhere in the heartland.’
      • ‘Of course, her Junoesque figure was exploited in the films and made much of in the media.’
      • ‘Burginde made much of very little, but there was wisdom in her ways, I could see.’
      • ‘The Dutch have made much of their fantastic flood preparedness compared to us.’
      • ‘Obviously, the defense team is making much of this, the prosecution saying it will have no effect on either case.’
      • ‘I think he is making much of the relations with neighbouring countries more than anything and is making efforts to deepen mutual understanding.’
      • ‘Hasan makes much of the hijab, worn for reasons of modesty.’
      • ‘Mr Taylor makes much of what he regards as the failure of the Council to advise him of his right to appeal to the County Court.’
      • ‘This isn't a huge error on its own, of course, and if it were the only error, I wouldn't make much of it.’
      • ‘That is what he pushed hardest in the campaign, but it's an issue he never made much of until then.’
      • ‘No one will probably make much of his low ethics in the matter, either.’
      • ‘The incident was made much of in the American newspapers, and there was a general outcry from the U.S. public.’
      flatter, compliment, praise, commend, admire, express admiration for, pay tribute to, say nice things about
      View synonyms
  • (as) much as

    • Even though:

      ‘much as I had enjoyed my adventure it was good to be back’
      • ‘Heavy vehicles, much as they try, find it impossible not to rattle or cause trailers to bounce.’
      • ‘This is a bit long, but, much as it pains me to say it, it's my sort of spoof and I wish I'd written it.’
      • ‘As much as I know that we need to take the rough with the smooth, I think some smooth would be very nice right about now.’
      • ‘As much as we joke and laugh about it, it does rule our life, but I never like that.’
      • ‘I make pasta for the others, but I eat it only once a week, much as I'd love to eat tons.’
      • ‘Ambience is important when you're eating out, and much as we tried, it was in short supply.’
      • ‘As much as he enjoyed his career, it paled into insignificance beside the love he felt for his family.’
      • ‘As much as we'd have liked to win, could you really have seen it happening in your wildest dreams?’
      • ‘As much as they were scared initially they were also inspired by the strength they witnessed.’
      • ‘As much as I do love London and do my best not to let my negative experiences get me down, a break is always good.’
      • ‘As much as he denies it, what was supposed to be a temporary job is becoming a vocation.’
      • ‘As much as we could see that this was a good plan, the audience seemed a little confused.’
      • ‘But much as Murray is revelling in his new status as a tournament champion, he is not daft.’
      • ‘The trouble is, I know I will not have enough energy to go to both these events, much as I want to.’
      • ‘As much as I love the fall and its colours and smells, a part of me always dies with the summer.’
      • ‘Which is why I am sick of hearing about the man, much as I like and respect him.’
      • ‘As much as I like staying at my parents' house, I find that I never sleep very well there.’
      • ‘As much as I love going to London, jetting over every other week seemed a bit hectic.’
      • ‘As much as we all want to party, showing up hungover to the parade can be dangerous.’
      • ‘I simply have too much stuff in my room to try to vacuum the place, much as it may need it.’
  • much less

  • not much in it

    • Little difference between things being compared.

      • ‘But I'll freely admit that I'm influenced in part by the fact that I'm more of an X-Men fan than a Spiderman fan anyway; there's not much in it at all.’
      • ‘I still prefer our version (we've got two out, I think they're both good), but there's not much in it as the Exploited version was very close to ours when they recorded it.’
      • ‘We didn't find it suited beginners quite as snugly as the other system, but there's not much in it.’
      • ‘To my eye at least, the new screen is marginally tidier, but there is not much in it.’
      • ‘With the bat, Flintoff has a slightly more orthodox technique, but there's not much in it.’
  • so much the better (or worse)

    • That is even better (or worse):

      ‘we want to hear your say, but if you make it short, so much the better’
      • ‘If he becomes more reflective, if he becomes nicer to other people, so much the better.’
      • ‘And if she chooses to value the book just for its emotional effect, rather than for its insights into the Meaning of Life, so much the better.’
      • ‘Happiness is watching kids in the water, and if parents can dip their legs in the water, too, so much the better.’
      • ‘And surprisingly, if you have some fat to go with it, so much the better.’
      • ‘They would be delighted to welcome any parents who would help out and if you come with some goodies so much the better!’
      • ‘If the boat requires or solicits rescue prior to arrival so much the better - someone needs to know they're there.’
      • ‘If we can gallop past that target, so much the better.’
      • ‘If you can ride a horse, so much the better; you'll travel far greater distances and reach terrain beyond the scope of most walkers.’
      • ‘If the celebrations could be associated with a greater awareness of the country's culture, history and traditions, so much the better.’
      • ‘If they were exposed to humiliation or embarrassment in front of their families or colleagues, so much the better.’
      • ‘If Asia can focus its limited resources on translating such knowledge into real-life uses, so much the better.’
      • ‘If this means we hear less from them at election time, so much the better.’
      • ‘If you can get both versions of a film so much the better.’
      • ‘What then followed was a bundle of falsehoods and bizarre inversions of reality, perhaps retailed in good faith (and so much the worse if they were).’
      • ‘So yeah, if I broaden my horizons and meet interesting and amusing people, then so much the better.’
      • ‘If you can market us in Swindon too, so much the better!’
      • ‘If you understand enough of the language to appreciate the compact poetry of the original French version, so much the better.’
      • ‘If farmers' incomes are sustained as a side-effect, then so much the better.’
      • ‘If you have more, so much the better - we're a little short up here.’
      • ‘If the Security Council gives him the mandate, so much the better.’
  • this much

    • The fact about to be stated:

      ‘I know this much, you would defy the world to get what you wanted’
      • ‘I have to hire an entire team of people for a brand new project - this much is true.’
      • ‘But you accept this much at any rate: you did in fact stab her twice?’
      • ‘I'll tell you this much, any guy who pulls a stunt like that is coming away with a bloody stump.’
      • ‘I haven't a clue about politics but I do know this much - the country needs us to pay our taxes.’
      • ‘Details of exactly what happened next are murky, but this much is clear.’
  • too much

    • An intolerable, impossible, or exhausting situation or experience:

      ‘the effort proved too much for her’
      • ‘In the first leg of the race, it was very rough and I thought that it was too much for me.’
      • ‘Sarcasm was obviously too much for his assailant as he jumped off the tube and ran away.’
      • ‘For a few though, the constant pressure gets too much and they have to bow out or fold up.’
      • ‘Much as Clune likes stirring up a bit of a buzz, there are times when it can be too much even for her.’
      • ‘Their outstanding quality was a little bit too much for us and it was a fair result.’
      • ‘She just goes ahead and does it, telling me to swear out loud if the pain gets too much.’
      • ‘My father felt like that was maybe a little bit too much for me, but how else do you learn?’
      • ‘It is too much for us lesser mortals to understand fully what we are supporting and why.’
      • ‘Is it too much to ask to have a little drama surrounding my entrance into the world?’
      • ‘It was quite good, if you like that sort of thing but it was all too much for the Royal couple.’


Middle English: shortened from muchel, from Old English micel (see mickle).