/euh mownt"/, n.1. the sum total of two or more quantities or sums; aggregate.2. the sum of the principal and interest of a loan.3. quantity; measure: a great amount of resistance.4. the full effect, value, or significance.v.i.5. to total; add (usually fol. by to): The repair bill amounts to $300.6. to reach, extend, or be equal in number, quantity, effect, etc.; be equivalent (usually fol. by to): It is stated differently but amounts to the same thing.7. to develop into; become (usually fol. by to): With his intelligence, he should amount to something when he grows up.[1250-1300; ME amounten, amunten < AF amo(u)nter, amunter, OF amonter lit., to go up, ascend, prob. a- A-5 + monter (see MOUNT1); E n. use of v. from early 18th cent.]Usage. The traditional distinction between AMOUNT and NUMBER is that AMOUNT is used with mass or uncountable nouns (the amount of paperwork; the amount of energy) and NUMBER with countable nouns (a number of songs; a number of days). Although objected to, the use of AMOUNT instead of NUMBER with countable nouns occurs in both speech and writing, especially when the noun can be considered as a unit or group (the amount of people present; the amount of weapons) or when it refers to money (the amount of dollars paid; the amount of pennies in the till).
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