1 det You use many to indicate that you are talking about a large number of people or things.
DET pl-n, oft with brd-neg (Antonym: few)
I don't think many people would argue with that..., Not many films are made in Finland..., Many holidaymakers had avoided the worst of the delays by consulting tourist offices..., Acting is definitely a young person's profession in many ways.
Many is also a pronoun., pron (Antonym: few, some)
We stood up, thinking through the possibilities. There weren't many.
Many is also a quantifier., quant QUANT of def-pl-n
So, once we have cohabited, why do many of us feel the need to get married?..., It seems there are not very many of them left in the sea...
Many is also an adjective., adj det ADJ, v-link ADJ
Among his many hobbies was the breeding of fine horses..., The possibilities are many.
2 adv You use many in expressions such as `not many', `not very many', and `too many' when replying to questions about numbers of things or people.
ADV as reply
`How many of the songs that dealt with this theme became hit songs?'<emdash10001`Not very many.'..., How many years is it since we've seen each other? Too many, anyway.
3 predet You use many followed by `a' and a noun to emphasize that there are a lot of people or things involved in something., (emphasis)
Many a mother tries to act out her unrealized dreams through her daughter...
4 det You use many after `how' to ask questions about numbers or quantities. You use many after `how' in reported clauses to talk about numbers or quantities.
how DET pl-n
How many years have you been here?..., No-one knows how many people have been killed since the war began.
Many is also a pronoun., pron how PRON
How many do you smoke a day?
5 det You use many with `as' when you are comparing numbers of things or people.
as DET pl-n, usu as DET pl-n as cl/group
I've always entered as many photo competitions as I can..., We produced ten times as many tractors as the United States.
Many is also a pronoun., pron as PRON
Let the child try on as many as she likes.
6 pron You use many to mean `many people'.
Iris Murdoch was regarded by many as a supremely good and serious writer.
7 n-sing The many means a large group of people, especially the ordinary people in society, considered as separate from a particular small group.
The printing press gave power to a few to change the world for the many...
8 You use as many as before a number to suggest that it is surprisingly large.
as many as phrase PHR num (emphasis)
As many as four and a half million people watched today's parade.
9 You use a good many or a great many to emphasize that you are referring to a large number of things or people.
a good many/a great many phrase PHR pl-n (emphasis)
We've both had a good many beers..., For a great many men and women, romance can be a most important part of marriage.
many happy returns
in so many words