a number of (something)

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a number of (something)

Several (people or things). Don't worry, there are a number of options to choose from if this one doesn't appeal to you.
See also: number, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

number of things or people

some things or people, in an indefinite amount. I subscribe to a number of different magazines. A number of people are here now.
See also: number, of, people, thing
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Don's dissection of "enough is enough": It implies the number of something below a certain level is not enough.
Defined in the Oxford Living Dictionary (online) with a compelling expansiveness and indefinition as both "[a] large number of something" and "[r]apid increase in the number or amount of something," proliferation is the state of things behind the state of things in the everyday of the academic workplace and, I am guessing, in many others.
Japanese also tend to use "piece" when referring to the number of something, while in English this is used only in certain cases.
I remember once asking for the number of something like Cardiff Airport, only to be told that it doesn't exist.
You know, in addition we start with a number of something, say eight apples, and we add two more.
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