Definition of multiple in English:



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

    ‘multiple occupancy’
    ‘a multiple birth’
    • ‘Third, there must be a causal connection between the multiple relationship and the impairment or risk.’
    • ‘He said the reason councillors voted against the change of use was because the premises are totally unsuitable for multiple occupancy.’
    • ‘If you require a multiple user connection you will pay €152.’
    • ‘Multiple cropping establishes a second crop in the same season that a first crop is harvested.’
    • ‘The inspection is based on a March 1999 agreement between the two countries to allow Washington multiple access to the suspected site.’
    • ‘There have been numerous reports of multiple voting on a large scale in the country.’
    • ‘It is my misfortune to be living in a street in which there are several houses in multiple occupation.’
    • ‘The function of the banner-draped shading elements is multiple.’
    • ‘The organization used quiet diplomacy to work with Ontario's bureaucrats to promote multiple use of Quetico park.’
    • ‘What follows is that you would then have different rules in relation to multiple publication in different States.’
    • ‘To take one example, he says that every vaccination, single as well as multiple, carries a specific risk.’
    • ‘Friends, the multiple agency bill collection system in the city, has to be the most citizen-friendly outfit of the Government.’
    1. 1.1Numerous and often varied.
      ‘words with multiple meanings’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The data were collected from multiple sites in the Midwest, however, which increased the reliability and generalizability of these data.’
      • ‘Ms W complied with her daily regimen of medications but was not prepared for the multiple side effects that occurred.’
      • ‘Conversations between therapist and family members, and among multiple families began, slowly at first, and then became livelier.’
      • ‘The frequency of multiple mating in the population was first calculated using all clutches.’
      • ‘All the members were charged with multiple counts of armed robbery, and murder.’
      • ‘No other hockey family can make that claim, and neither can any family with multiple members in the baseball, basketball, or football halls.’
      • ‘Even when larger corporate aircraft arrive, staff are obliged to use only small vans, requiring multiple trips to collect passengers and crew.’
      • ‘The online service allows customers to retrieve, at the click of a mouse, information that used to take days to collect from multiple sources.’
      • ‘The season's riches also offer a chance to see favorite actors tackling very different roles in multiple movies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If members ask multiple questions, they run the risk of Ministers answering the parts that they regard as less important.’
      • ‘Thus we see multiple members of Congress talking about the Social security ‘surplus’.’
      • ‘Today, many children are being raised by multiple partners in different environments other than the home, including child care centers.’
      • ‘Discussing each article and generating multiple perspectives from group members was very important in this process.’
      • ‘Do-it-yourself videoconferencing may be better suited for team members who work in multiple locations.’
      • ‘Non-standard usages, like multiple negation, are sometimes attacked on the same grounds.’
      • ‘I don't much care for members who serve on multiple boards.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, the risk of side effects increases when multiple medications are used.’
      • ‘Vicky had spent those four hours talking to other crew members about multiple topics; she had been extremely bored during those four hours.’
      • ‘Beard and Quann collected multiple medals in 1996 and 2000, respectively.’
      • ‘This book, like the earlier accounts, acknowledges that multiple elements were at work in secularizing higher education.’
      numerous, many, various, different, diverse, several, sundry, miscellaneous, manifold, multifarious, multitudinous, compound, collective
      myriad, divers
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2(of a disease, injury, or disability) complex in its nature or effects, or affecting several parts of the body.
      ‘a multiple fracture of the femur’
      • ‘This study demonstrates that multiple infections are present in patients with active tuberculosis in a high-incidence setting.’
      • ‘Her mother had bled to death from multiple injuries including a severed foot.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘COPD is a complex respiratory disease causing multiple symptoms and therefore significant difficulty for patients.’
      • ‘None of the biopsies of these patients showed multiple infections.’
      • ‘These competitors were identified as multiple injury victims.’
      • ‘Each of the patients had a history of multiple asthma exacerbations that often required systemic corticosteroids for control.’
      • ‘He suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries from which he could not survive.’
      • ‘He was treated for multiple fractures and head injuries and was initially critically ill and fighting for his life.’
      • ‘Heart failure is a complex syndrome that affects multiple organ systems and has a great impact on the lifestyle of patients.’
      • ‘She was taken to the Great Western Hospital with multiple injuries but according to police they were not life threatening.’
      • ‘A woman who was sitting in the front seat was taken to St James' Hospital suffering from multiple injuries.’
      • ‘The 18-year-old is in the intensive care unit of the Royal Oldham Hospital with multiple injuries.’
      • ‘However, in the absence of HIV testing of all patients, we cannot exclude HIV as a mechanism enabling multiple infection.’
      • ‘A jogger eyewitness ran to call an ambulance, but the pensioner died from multiple injuries before reaching hospital.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Medications are powerful, but potentially dangerous in the treatment of multiple diseases in elderly individuals.’
      • ‘Patients with multiple injuries or altered mental status, including intoxication, were not included in the study.’
      • ‘Several were left with spinal injuries and multiple fractures.’
      • ‘In 2002 our intensive care unit cared for 183 unconscious patients with multiple injuries and experienced this clinical dilemma every other day.’
    3. 1.3Of or designating an electrical circuit that has several points at which connection can occur.


  • 1A number that can be divided by another number without a remainder.

    ‘15, 20, or any other multiple of five’
    • ‘It may be a multiple of earnings or a percentage of sales or whatever.’
    • ‘The overall value of these firms, which continue to grow, is a multiple of this figure.’
    • ‘Each line is obtained by adding a certain multiple of its predecessor to the one before that.’
    • ‘But when poor countries export to rich ones this goes up by a multiple of five.’
    • ‘But if the hospital were sold it would fetch a multiple of that figure.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Primitive Pythagorean triangles are a bit like prime numbers in that every integer is either prime or a multiple of a prime.’
    • ‘However, the overall value of these firms would be a multiple of this figure.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Another statistic charts CEO pay at Fortune 100 companies as a multiple of the average pay of workers at the same firms.’
    • ‘By this time next year expect the percentage to be a multiple of that.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Is the total amount of cash on hand a multiple of 3?’
    • ‘After all, a multiple of 14 or 15 times operating profit is your standard newspaper rule of thumb.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2An arrangement of terminals that allows connection with an electrical circuit at any one of several points.


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