1. The condition of being multiple or plural.
a. A condition in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups are present and tolerated within a society.
b. The belief that such a condition is desirable or socially beneficial.
3. Ecclesiastical The holding by one person of two or more positions or offices, especially two or more ecclesiastical benefices, at the same time.
a. The doctrine that reality is composed of many ultimate substances.
b. The belief that no single explanatory system or view of reality can account for all the phenomena of life.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.