Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: conter, from Latin computare; COMPUTE


1 verb
count1 S1 W3

find the total

also count up [transitive] to calculate the total number of things or people in a group:
I was amazed at the number of plants - I counted 147.
count (up) how many
Count up how many ticks are in each box.

say numbers

also count up [intransitive] to say numbers in order, one by one or in groups
count to
Sarah can count up to five now.
count by twos/fives etc
It's quicker to count by tens (=saying 10, 20, 30 ...).

be allowed

[intransitive and transitive] to be allowed or accepted, or to allow or accept something, according to a standard, set of ideas, or set of rules:
A linesman had his flag up so the kick did not count.
count as
Locally produced sales by American firms in Japan do not count as exports.
Today's session is counted as training, so you will get paid.
count towards
Results from the two rounds count towards championship points.


[transitive] to include someone or something in a total:
There are more than two thousand of us, not counting the crew.
count somebody/something among something
I count Jules and Ady among my closest friends.

consider something

[transitive] to consider someone or something in a particular way
count somebody/something as something
I don't count him as a friend anymore.
You should count yourself lucky that you weren't hurt.


[intransitive not in progressive] to be important or valuable:
First impressions really do count.
count for
His promises don't count for much.
His overseas results count for nothing.

I/you can count somebody/something on (the fingers of) one hand

spoken used to emphasize how small the number of something is:
The number of cougar attacks on humans can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

don't count your chickens (before they're hatched)

spoken used to say that you should not make plans that depend on something good happening, because it might not:
I wouldn't count your chickens, Mr Vass. I've agreed to sign the contract, but that's all.

count your blessings

spoken used to tell someone to be grateful for the good things in their life

count the cost

to start having problems as a result of your earlier decisions or mistakes:
We're now counting the cost of not taking out medical insurance.

who's counting?

used to say that you are not worried about the number of times something happens - often used humorously:
Apparently the next Star Trek film (number six, but who's counting ?) will definitely be the last.

count sheep

to imagine a line of sheep jumping over a fence, one at a time, and count them as a way of getting to sleep

➔ stand up and be counted

at stand1 (5)

; ➔ it's the thought that counts

at thought2 (12)

count down

phrasal verb
to count the number of days, minutes etc until a particular moment or event
count something ↔ down
We are counting down the days to the end of this tour.

count somebody in

phrasal verb
to include someone in an activity:
When the game gets started, you can count me in.

count on/upon somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 to depend on someone or something, especially in a difficult situation:
You can count on me.
With luck, you might cover your costs, but don't count on it.
count on (somebody/something) doing something
We're all counting on winning this contract.
They were counting on him not coming out of hospital.
count on somebody/something to do something
You can count on Dean to ruin any party.
2 to expect something:
The presence of Paula was one thing he hadn't counted on.
count on (somebody/something) doing something
We didn't count on so many people being on vacation.

count somebody/something out

phrasal verb
1 to not include someone or something in an activity:
I'm sorry, you'll have to count me out tonight.
2 to decide that someone or something is not important or worth considering:
I wouldn't count him out. If anybody can make a comeback, he can.

count something ↔ out

to put things down one by one as you count them:
The teller counted out ten $50 bills.

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