a number of

a number of

A collection of persons or things; several. For example, A number of tours are available, or We've visited a number of times. This idiom often is modified by an adjective giving some idea of quantity, as in Only a small number are going. [1300s] Also see any number of.
See also: number, of
References in classic literature ?
By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.
In the decline of the day, near Kentucke river, as we ascended the brow of a small hill, a number of Indians rushed out of a thick cane-brake upon us, and made us prisoners.
This promising beginning was soon overcast with a cloud of adversity; for upon the tenth day of October, the rear of our company was attacked by a number of Indians, who killed six, and wounded one man.
I remained with my family on Clench until the sixth of June,1774, when I and one Michael Stoner were solicited by Governor Dunmore, of Virginia, to go to the Falls of the Ohio, to conduct into the settlement a number of surveyors that had been sent thither by him some months before; this country having about this time drawn the attention of many adventurers.
Soon after I returned home, I was ordered to take the command of three garrisons during the campaign, which Governor Dunmore carried on against the Shawanese Indians: After the conclusion of which, the Militia was discharged from each garrrison, and I being relieved from my post, was solicited by a number of North-Carolina gentlemen, that were about purchasing the lands lying on the S.
I soon began this work, having collected a number of enterprising men, well armed.
Within its compartments a number of deformed monsters squatted upon their haunches, or lay prone upon the native mats that covered the floor.
I confess it is truly surprising how such a number of animals can find support in a country producing so little food.
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
Bella drew his arm closer through hers as they walked along, and gave it a number of consolatory pats.
I SEE quite a number of rings on your tail," said an Alderman to a Raccoon that he met in a zoological garden.
Yes," replied the Raccoon, "and I hear quite a number of tales on your ring.
Hence they derive their appellation of Freemen, to distinguish them from the trappers who are bound for a number of years, and receive wages, or hunt on shares.
But though for some time past a number of these whales, not less than 13,000 have been annually slain on the nor' west coast by the Americans alone; yet there are considerations which render even this circumstance of little or no account as an opposing argument in this matter.
we must admit that many domestic breeds have originated in Europe; for whence could they have been derived, as these several countries do not possess a number of peculiar species as distinct parent-stocks?