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Many, adj. 1) sing., used with the indef. art. behind it, == more than one, not few, more than one would suppose: “I sigh the lack of m. a thing I sought,” Sonn. 30, 3. “the expense of m. a vanished sight,” Sonn. 30, 3 “how m. a holy and obsequious tear hath dear religious love stolen from mine eye,” 31, 5. “the injury of m. a blasting hour,” Compl. 72. Err. I, 2, 17. II, 2, 83. LLL I, 1, 173. Merch. II, 7, 67. III, 1, 6. IV, 1, 221. As II, 7, 130. III, 3, 53. III, 3, 53 IV, 1, 101. Wint. I, 2, 192. John II, 303. IV, 1, 50. H4B II, 3, 13. IV, 5, 25. H6A V, 4, 19. H6B III, 1, 115. H6C I, 2, 74. IV, 4, 21. Cymb. V, 5, 71. Cymb. V, 5, 71 etc. etc. “of folded schedules had she m. a one,” Compl. 43. “though in this city he hath widowed and unchilded m. a one,” Cor. V, 6, 153. “these talents of their hair I have received from m. a several fair,” Compl. 206. “m. a thousand grains,” Meas. III, 1, 20. H6C V, 6, 37. “m. a time,” R2 IV, 92. Tit. V, 3, 162. “m. a time and oft,” Merch. I, 3, 107. H4A I, 2, 56. Caes. I, 1, 42. (Simpcox's wife says “m. time and oft,” H6B II, 1, 93). “m. a time and often,” Tim. III, 1, 25. “how does your honour for this m. a day?” Hml. III, 1, 91 (== the long time that I have not seen you). “I think your highness saw this m. a day,” H8 V, 2, 21 (i. e. it is a long time since you saw this). Reduplicated: “m. a m. foot of land the worse,” John I, 183; cf. Hml. III, 3, 9. Preceded by full: “full m. a glorious morning have I seen,” Sonn. 33, 1. Tp. III, 1, 39. Mids. III, 1, 135. Many and a separated by the verse: Wint. V, 3, 140. H8 II, 4, 49.
2) plur. a great number of: “burn in m. places,” Tp. I, 2, 199. II, 1, 60. III, 3, 34. V, 182. Gent. I, 2, 21. II, 7, 31. III, 1, 236 etc. etc. Saxon Genitive: “in --'s looks the false heart's history is writ,” Sonn. 93, 7. Seemingly for much: “one is one too m.” Err. III, 1, 35. “being one too m. by my weary self,” Rom. I, 1, 135 (not in Globe Ed., which here follows the spurious Q1). cf. “how m. is one thrice told?” LLL I, 2, 41. In the predicate: “your helps are m.” Cor. II, 1, 39. Various use of so m.: “this is a sleep that from this golden rigol hath divorced so m. English kings,” H4B IV, 5, 37 (== many an English king; German: so manchen Koenig). “they flock together like so m. wild-geese,” H4B V, 1, 79 (== as if they were wild geese). “fathers that, like so m. Alexanders, have fought,” H5 III, 1, 19. “those few almost no better than so m. French,” III, 6, 156. “he the cuts off twenty years of life cuts off so m. years of fearing death,” Caes. III, 1, 102. we are but men, and what “so m. may do, we have done,” H8 V, 4, 79 (speaking of two only). “let him alone, or so m. so minded, wave thus,” Cor. I, 6, 73 (== all that are so minded). Preceding the poss. pron.: “an earnest inviting, which m. my near occasions did urge me to put off,” Tim. III, 6, 11 (== many motives which concerned myself very near). “the letters too of m. our contriving friends in Rome petition us at home,” Ant. I, 2, 189 (many friends who are busy in our interest). Preceded by the def. art.: “the m. will be too chill and tender,” All's IV, 5, 55 (the multitude; opposed to the elected few). “not able to maintain the m. to them longing,” H8 I, 2, 32. “the mutable, rank-scented m., let them regard me as I do not flatter,” Cor. III, 1, 66 (O. Edd. Meyny). Preceded by the indef. article: “I do know a m. fools,” Merch. III, 5, 73. “a m. merry men,” As I, 1, 121. “told of a m. thousand warlike French,” John IV, 2, 199. you bear a m. (stars) “superfluously,” H5 III, 7, 179. “a m. poor men's lives,” IV, 1, 127. “mother of a m. children,” R3 III, 7, 184. with of: “like a m. of these lisping hawthornbuds,” Wiv. III, 3, 77. “a m. of our bodies,” H5 IV, 3, 95. “a m. of your horsemen,” IV, 7, 88. As for “this m. summers,” H8 III, 2, 360, see This.
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