a thousand pardons! meaning, a thousand pardons! definition | English Cobuild dictionary

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thousand  

  ( thousands    plural  )
The plural form is thousand after a number, or after a word or expression referring to a number, such as `several' or `a few'.     
1       num   Athousand or onethousand is the number 1,000.  
usu a/num NUM  
...five thousand acres..., Visitors can expect to pay about a thousand pounds a day.     
2       quant   If you refer to thousands of things or people, you are emphasizing that there are very many of them.  
QUANT of pl-n     (emphasis)    Thousands of refugees are packed into over-crowded towns and villages...     
      You can also use thousands as a pronoun., pron  
Hundreds have been killed in the fighting and thousands made homeless.     
3   
    a thousand and one  
    one  
Translation English - Cobuild Collins Dictionary  
Collaborative Dictionary     English Cobuild
id.
the phrase is uttered in an attempt to excuse the user of profanity or curses in the presence of those offended by it under the pretense of the words being part of a foreign language
Syn.: excuse my French

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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"