Definition of multitude in US English:



  • 1A large number.

    ‘a multitude of medical conditions are due to being overweight’
    • ‘I was astonished to see multitudes of people in the streets and a score of new buildings.’
    • ‘Colourful multitudes thronged the traffic-congested streets, poring over programmes, posters and booking kits.’
    • ‘Whenever the pope visits a foreign country, multitudes throng the site for hours, even days, before he arrives.’
    • ‘The website, which will never win prizes for design, now earns its creator an estimated $1 million a year and attracts vast multitudes of visitors every day.’
    • ‘We never realize that the multitudes of rural women who risk losing their house and family property in giving birth to extra babies may be, to a degree, doing the country a public service.’
    • ‘‘It's always about the music,’ he says, when I ask if he prefers the solitude of the recording studio or the multitudes in the concert hall.’
    • ‘The organisation realised the seriousness of a massive problem faced by the country - the growing multitudes of illiterate children.’
    • ‘To be ‘developed’ has little to do with skyscrapers, multitudes of shopping malls and myriad fast-food chains.’
    • ‘The human being is very complex, with a great multitude of factors influencing his or her life.’
    • ‘To even imply that is to insult the mind-set and values of those faceless multitudes who flock to the cinema halls every other day and make or mar the fortunes of many a film.’
    • ‘The fawning multitudes elbowed each other behind barricades to catch a 10-second glimpse of a lady who would say little, do nothing, and contribute even less.’
    • ‘He walks even faster, and soon breaks into a trot as multitudes of rats swarm from sewers, basements, vacant lots, and abandoned cars.’
    • ‘Walking along the path, we appreciated the flourishing bamboo that surrounded the multitudes of deep green water pools stocked with small fish.’
    • ‘It would only be a blind man who did not notice the multitudes of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, diamonds and designer this and that adorning a larger than average proportion of the population.’
    • ‘The centre piece is the Victoria Falls in Livingstone which has so far played host to multitudes of tourists visiting the city.’
    • ‘Upon journeying the length and breadth of my home land, and discovering little in way of palatable variation, I turned my attention to the multitudes of foreign possibilities.’
    • ‘The images from Spain of the multitudes out on the streets on Friday, interspersed with scenes from the day before, had the same universal quality.’
    • ‘Today the seas teem with multitudes of creatures comprising hundred of thousands of species.’
    a lot, a great number, a large number, a great quantity, a large quantity, host, horde, mass, mountain, droves, swarm, army, legion, sea, abundance, profusion
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the multitudes Large numbers of people.
      ‘the multitudes using the roads’
    2. 1.2the multitude A large gathering of people.
      ‘Father Peter addressed the multitude’
    3. 1.3the multitude The mass of ordinary people without power or influence.
      ‘placing ultimate political power in the hands of the multitude’
      • ‘The danger of these regimes is also in inflicting on multitudes the state of mass fear and, consequently, the state of psychological abnormality.’
      • ‘It is no longer feasible to convince the multitudes to expect little from their leaders, now that they have learned of international standards of governance.’
      • ‘In autocratic states, one has to flatter only one person; in democratic states, one has to flatter the multitudes.’
      • ‘Elections, and with multitudes turning up to cast their votes, is the most sure way of putting into office politicians who can deliver.’
      • ‘And those faceless multitudes, often unlettered, usually uneducated, have been able to guess it right.’
      crowd, gathering, assembly, group, assemblage, congregation, flock, throng, horde, mob
      the common people, the populace, the public, the people, the masses, the rank and file, the crowd, the commonality, the commonalty, the third estate, the plebeians
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4archaic The state of being numerous.
      ‘they would swarm over the river in their multitude’


  • a multitude of sins

    • Conceal or gloss over many problems or defects.

      ‘stucco could cover a multitude of sins, including poor brickwork’
      • ‘The latter covers a multitude of sins and horrors, as he well knows.’
      • ‘This novelty helped, at least to some extent, to "cover a multitude of sins."’
      • ‘Although tasty, I have a feeling the strong flavours covered a multitude of sins at that price.’
      • ‘No doubt, the subtropical climate has covered a multitude of sins with greenery.’
      • ‘It has covered a multitude of sins.’
      • ‘I have never been a fan of what is generally referred to as performance poetry, a label which covers a multitude of sins.’
      • ‘The umbrella term ' technology ' covers a multitude of sins.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, despite this and other flaws, the characters remain interesting throughout, and Johansson's acting covers a multitude of sins.’
      • ‘Harry Bassett once said "winning covers a multitude of sins" and I think he's right.’
      • ‘A movie that dumps $750 million into a studio can not only look great, but covers a multitude of sins.’


Middle English: via Old French from Latin multitudo, from multus ‘many’.