This is a sentence

After doping, the conductivity of this semiconductor device is increased manifold.

What's the meaning of "manifold" in this context.

Manifold: Other meanings here


Manifold is built along the same pattern as threefold, fivefold, and thousandfold, used to describe an increase/decrease of three, five, or a thousand times. In this context, manifold simply means "many times, numerous, multiple."

In online dictionaries llike the one you consulted, you'd almost have to look at the word's etymology [word history, provenance] to figure that out, since the modern usage leans much more toward "various, varied, complicated."

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  • I would feel a lot better about this answer if you included the fact that the word is basically a mistake in this context and register. It really should be manyfold, not manifold. Compare recent usage in Ngrams or Google Scholar where a purely quantifiable increase is being discussed. Natural speakers in formal registers use manyfold. Recent examples of manifold being used this way are predominantly from former British colonies. There may be a difference in acceptability between Britons and Americans, but I didn't see it in the examples I looked at. – Phil Sweet Jan 13 '18 at 15:52
  • NYT style guide – Phil Sweet Jan 13 '18 at 15:53
  • To me, manyfold sounds 19th c. and manifold King James version. I would never use either. Since "multiple" is still an accepted meaning of manifold, however, one could consider this usage as moribund, but not quite wrong. You're right about register though. I got a chuckle out of semiconductor and manifold appearing in the same sentence. – KarlG Jan 13 '18 at 17:10

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