Myriad

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One or two pedantries may arise about the word myriad. Its usual meaning is 'an indefinitely large number', or 'countless'.

In current English it may be either a noun or an adjective. Some people bother about which is the correct word class: both are part of current English, so their worry is unnecessary. Myriad was originally a noun. It comes, through {post-classical) Latin, from Greek μυριάς (murias, genitive μυριάδος (muriados)), a noun meaning 'the number 10,000', formed from the adjective μυρίος (murios), which in the singular means 'numberless, countless, infinite' and in the plural (μύριοι, murioi) means '(the definite numeral) 10,000'. In English, the earliest use as a noun recorded in OED is 1550; the earliest appearance as an adjective is given as 1735. Both noun and adjective are listed as occurring in the 1990s: both are still (2008) current.

Fowler (1926), who was a schoolteacher of classics as well as English, asks us to remember that although in English myriad is mostly used to mean 'countless', its original denotation was the much more precise 10,000.

See also Prefixes for very high numbers.