Definition of multiple in English:



  • 1Having or involving several parts, elements, or members.

    ‘multiple occupancy’
    ‘a multiple pile-up’
    • ‘He said the reason councillors voted against the change of use was because the premises are totally unsuitable for multiple occupancy.’
    • ‘It is my misfortune to be living in a street in which there are several houses in multiple occupation.’
    • ‘What follows is that you would then have different rules in relation to multiple publication in different States.’
    • ‘Third, there must be a causal connection between the multiple relationship and the impairment or risk.’
    • ‘Friends, the multiple agency bill collection system in the city, has to be the most citizen-friendly outfit of the Government.’
    • ‘Multiple cropping establishes a second crop in the same season that a first crop is harvested.’
    • ‘The function of the banner-draped shading elements is multiple.’
    • ‘The inspection is based on a March 1999 agreement between the two countries to allow Washington multiple access to the suspected site.’
    • ‘If you require a multiple user connection you will pay €152.’
    • ‘The organization used quiet diplomacy to work with Ontario's bureaucrats to promote multiple use of Quetico park.’
    • ‘To take one example, he says that every vaccination, single as well as multiple, carries a specific risk.’
    • ‘There have been numerous reports of multiple voting on a large scale in the country.’
    1. 1.1Numerous and often varied.
      ‘words with multiple meanings’
      • ‘The frequency of multiple mating in the population was first calculated using all clutches.’
      • ‘The title track, which opens the album, slowly introduces the multiple elements of this work, reverently contrasting them to establish a perfect balance of impressions.’
      • ‘Do-it-yourself videoconferencing may be better suited for team members who work in multiple locations.’
      • ‘Conversations between therapist and family members, and among multiple families began, slowly at first, and then became livelier.’
      • ‘Non-standard usages, like multiple negation, are sometimes attacked on the same grounds.’
      • ‘No other hockey family can make that claim, and neither can any family with multiple members in the baseball, basketball, or football halls.’
      • ‘The data were collected from multiple sites in the Midwest, however, which increased the reliability and generalizability of these data.’
      • ‘All the members were charged with multiple counts of armed robbery, and murder.’
      • ‘Beard and Quann collected multiple medals in 1996 and 2000, respectively.’
      • ‘Vicky had spent those four hours talking to other crew members about multiple topics; she had been extremely bored during those four hours.’
      • ‘I don't much care for members who serve on multiple boards.’
      • ‘The financial sector is a much different story, with multiple levels of lending and intermediation dictating that analysis is at least as much art as science.’
      • ‘Even when larger corporate aircraft arrive, staff are obliged to use only small vans, requiring multiple trips to collect passengers and crew.’
      • ‘The season's riches also offer a chance to see favorite actors tackling very different roles in multiple movies.’
      • ‘If members ask multiple questions, they run the risk of Ministers answering the parts that they regard as less important.’
      • ‘However, the risk of side effects increases when multiple medications are used.’
      • ‘The online service allows customers to retrieve, at the click of a mouse, information that used to take days to collect from multiple sources.’
      • ‘Ms W complied with her daily regimen of medications but was not prepared for the multiple side effects that occurred.’
      • ‘Today, many children are being raised by multiple partners in different environments other than the home, including child care centers.’
      • ‘This book, like the earlier accounts, acknowledges that multiple elements were at work in secularizing higher education.’
      • ‘Because children have different learning styles and multiple ways of knowing, they must be encouraged to find the form that best fits their individual styles.’
      • ‘Discussing each article and generating multiple perspectives from group members was very important in this process.’
      • ‘Thus we see multiple members of Congress talking about the Social security ‘surplus’.’
      numerous, many, various, different, diverse, several, sundry, miscellaneous, manifold, multifarious, multitudinous, compound, collective
      myriad, divers
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2(of a disease, injury, etc.) complex in its nature or effects; affecting several parts of the body.
      ‘a multiple fracture of the femur’
      • ‘Medications are powerful, but potentially dangerous in the treatment of multiple diseases in elderly individuals.’
      • ‘A woman who was sitting in the front seat was taken to St James' Hospital suffering from multiple injuries.’
      • ‘She was taken to the Great Western Hospital with multiple injuries but according to police they were not life threatening.’
      • ‘A jogger eyewitness ran to call an ambulance, but the pensioner died from multiple injuries before reaching hospital.’
      • ‘Patients with multiple injuries or altered mental status, including intoxication, were not included in the study.’
      • ‘He suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries from which he could not survive.’
      • ‘These competitors were identified as multiple injury victims.’
      • ‘Several were left with spinal injuries and multiple fractures.’
      • ‘Her mother had bled to death from multiple injuries including a severed foot.’
      • ‘A child who suffered multiple injuries in a road traffic accident in Italy was given subcutaneous injections of nerve growth factor in a last ditch effort to save an ischaemic leg.’
      • ‘He was treated for multiple fractures and head injuries and was initially critically ill and fighting for his life.’
      • ‘COPD is a complex respiratory disease causing multiple symptoms and therefore significant difficulty for patients.’
      • ‘As he tried to separate two bulls that were fighting, he was knocked over and trampled, receiving multiple injuries including fractures to his ribs and spine.’
      • ‘The 18-year-old is in the intensive care unit of the Royal Oldham Hospital with multiple injuries.’
      • ‘Each of the patients had a history of multiple asthma exacerbations that often required systemic corticosteroids for control.’
      • ‘However, in the absence of HIV testing of all patients, we cannot exclude HIV as a mechanism enabling multiple infection.’
      • ‘None of the biopsies of these patients showed multiple infections.’
      • ‘In 2002 our intensive care unit cared for 183 unconscious patients with multiple injuries and experienced this clinical dilemma every other day.’
      • ‘Heart failure is a complex syndrome that affects multiple organ systems and has a great impact on the lifestyle of patients.’
      • ‘This study demonstrates that multiple infections are present in patients with active tuberculosis in a high-incidence setting.’


  • 1A number that may be divided by another a certain number of times without a remainder.

    ‘15, 20, or any multiple of five’
    • ‘The overall value of these firms, which continue to grow, is a multiple of this figure.’
    • ‘But when poor countries export to rich ones this goes up by a multiple of five.’
    • ‘Each line is obtained by adding a certain multiple of its predecessor to the one before that.’
    • ‘Any other number that leaves a remainder of 0 when divided by 7 must be a multiple of 7, so it can't be a prime.’
    • ‘It is affecting people who are struggling, and wondering how they can ever buy a house on their income when land prices have gone to a multiple of three or four times the average wage.’
    • ‘This is to make each round consist of 86 points, 1 more than a multiple of five.’
    • ‘By this time next year expect the percentage to be a multiple of that.’
    • ‘Not only does this put their own lives at risk but it increases the chances of death of a front seat occupant by a multiple of five.’
    • ‘Is the total amount of cash on hand a multiple of 3?’
    • ‘Primitive Pythagorean triangles are a bit like prime numbers in that every integer is either prime or a multiple of a prime.’
    • ‘Another statistic charts CEO pay at Fortune 100 companies as a multiple of the average pay of workers at the same firms.’
    • ‘She told me that she feels that if she doesn't take a number of steps which is a multiple of five, that she can cause some harm to come to her brother Michael.’
    • ‘It may be a multiple of earnings or a percentage of sales or whatever.’
    • ‘After all, a multiple of 14 or 15 times operating profit is your standard newspaper rule of thumb.’
    • ‘However, the overall value of these firms would be a multiple of this figure.’
    • ‘But if the hospital were sold it would fetch a multiple of that figure.’
  • 2British A shop with branches in many places, especially one selling a specific type of product.

    ‘the major food multiples’
    • ‘Grocery multiples increased their share of the beef market, selling almost 78 per cent of total sales.’
    • ‘Personally I think York has got everything, it's got multiples, individual shops, attractions and we've got beautiful countryside.’
    • ‘Recent trends in the food retail economy may mean that many small and large multiple stores are increasingly moving back into city centres and local sites closer to relatively deprived populations.’
    • ‘The audience used to include mainly multiples and smaller shops, but now a whole range of speciality shops, not to mention forecourts and delicatessens are included.’
    • ‘Anyone sidetracked by clothes or other departments within multiple stores is sent back to the start.’
    • ‘York, as elsewhere, was gauged on the basis of the number of multiple stores it attracts, independent quality shops and the total amount of retail floorspace as a percentage of the size of the city centre.’
    • ‘As a company, we place just as much importance on our smaller customers as we do the major retail multiples.’
    • ‘This will be an opportunity for food producers to meet potential buyers, ranging from large multiples and independent retailers, pub and restaurant owners.’
    • ‘The farmer normally sells product to a processor who, in turn, sells it to a retailer, usually a multiple.’
    • ‘He is also considering exporting to Britain and developing own label products for the British multiples.’
    • ‘This does not mean the company would turn away the opportunity to sell to the multiples, or any other customer if the chance arose.’
    • ‘There were mixed views among the experts on the strategy of supplying own-label products to multiples.’
    • ‘The city's retailing has lost its character and prestige through being composed of multiples in terminal decline and a proliferation of ‘Cheap Jack’ shops.’
    • ‘The food services unit distributes chilled products to restaurants, delis and multiples whose supply needs now also include frozen and ambient foods.’
    • ‘In terms of volume and value, 85% of strawberries are sold through the multiples.’
    • ‘It is sold in gourmet food stores, independent supermarkets, to the multiples and into the restaurant and food service sectors.’
    • ‘While produced from Dublin, the 15-year-old magazine is focused on the UK market, where it is sold on subscription to retail multiples.’
    • ‘Indeed, organic ranges are now available from all the major multiples, and the majority of households do buy organic food, even if some are only doing so occasionally.’
    • ‘Consumers can help, too, by patronising their local shops and shunning the multiples.’
    • ‘Three multiples, including the major department store, have already indicated that they would intend to move.’
    store, retail store, outlet, retail outlet, reseller, cash and carry
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: from French, from late Latin multiplus, alteration of Latin multiplex (see multiplex).