Definition of MYRIAD
1: ten thousand
2: a great number <a myriad of ideas>
Usage Discussion of MYRIAD
Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it.
Examples of MYRIAD
- There are a myriad of possibilities.
- <the car can be outfitted with a myriad of options>
- Mr. McCullough hails Adams for being uncannily prescient … foreseeing a myriad of developments, from the difficulty of defeating the British … to the divisive consequences of slavery. —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, 22 May 2001
Origin of MYRIAD
Greek myriad-, myrias, from myrioi countless, ten thousand
First Known Use: 1555