# How large is a multitude? [closed]

I was recently looking for an adjective to describe how many answers a question received after being bountied. One word I thought of was multitude.

Initially my question didn't receive many answers. However, thanks to Lilienthal's generous bounty, I now have a multitude of answers to choose from.

According to Dictionary.com, a multitude refers to:

1. a great number; host:
a multitude of friends.

2. a great number of people gathered together; crowd; throng.

3. the state or character of being many; numerousness.

4. the multitude, the common people; the masses.

multitude. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved July 27, 2017

After some thought, I'm unsure whether multitude is an accurate term for this scenario. The aforementioned bounty attracted seven different answers to my question, which seems too small to be called a multitude.

How large of a number does a multitude refer to?

• To say 7 answers is a multitude is speaking in hyperbole. Jul 27, 2017 at 14:28
• The first listed definition here (and I'm sure in most other dictionaries) is 'a great number / a host'. Thousands at least. One should be very careful that one doesn't assume that hyperbolic usage isn't going to lead to misconceptions (where it matters). Jul 27, 2017 at 16:04

## 2 Answers

I feel like the answer to this question is relative to the context.

I use "multitude" when referring to an amount of something that is apparently way bigger than the normal amount. If the usual amount is only a few, having let's say 50 or 100 more items can be considered a great amount more. If the normal is a larger number, have 50 or 100 items would not be a shockingly large number. One way you can measure that is by thinking, when someone reads my sentence would their reaction be, "Wow, that is a huge number!"?

If the average amount of answers to a question is let's say 3, no one would view 4 more answers as way more than usually. If you, however, tell me that a question has 20 or 30 answers, my reaction would be that the question has a lot more answers that are normally provided and a lot more answers that are needed, so at that point I would say it is okay to use "multitude".

I think multitude means a number too large to count.

Its closest synonyms would be crowd, throng. When you have a multitude of friends, you have so many you just can't keep track of the number. When you have a multitude of options, you have so many options, it would be a waste of time to count them.

Seven answers would not be a multitude.