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umpteen

Line breaks: ump|teen
Pronunciation: /ʌm(p)ˈtiːn
 
, ˈʌm(p)tiːn
 
/

Definition of umpteen in English:

cardinal number

informal
Indefinitely many; a lot of: you need umpteen pieces of identification to cash a cheque umpteen of them arrived at once
More example sentences
  • It ought to be obvious that if Westbury is to have any traffic relief, it has to be by other than an umpteen million pound environmentally-damaging bypass.
  • But I do believe in life sentences with life meaning life, not just ten years inside, with umpteen reductions for good behaviour.
  • There was so much more that could have been done in the hour that wasn't, and so much fillery stuff in there as well, such as umpteen shots of the kids walking around the streets.

Origin

early 20th century: humorous formation based on -teen.

More
  • Signals regiments in the army once used umpty to indicate the dash in Morse code (the dot was iddy). One slang dictionary states that this began in India, as a way of teaching the Morse system to Indian troops. The military term may be behind the use of umpty for an indefinite large number, recorded from the late 19th century and developing into umpteen, on the model of thirteen or fourteen, in the early 1900s.

Derivatives

umpteenth

1
ordinal number
Example sentences
  • After trying to answer it for the umpteenth time, I have generated a response which is entertaining and not draining.
  • As long as we're on the topic of armor for the umpteenth time over the past year, let's revisit Michael Yon.
  • One day when he was 10 years old, she called the intercom to his basement bedroom and requested for the umpteenth time that he come to dinner.

Definition of umpteen in:

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