Number vs Category - What's the difference?

number | category |

As nouns the difference between number and category

is that number is (countable) an abstract entity used to describe quantity while category is a group, often named or numbered, to which items are assigned based on similarity or defined criteria.

As a verb number

is to label (items) with numbers; to assign numbers to (items).

As a adjective number

is (numb).

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



Alternative forms

* (l) (obsolete)

Etymology 1

(etyl) .


(en noun)
  • (countable) An abstract entity used to describe quantity.
  • (countable) A numeral: a symbol for a non-negative integer
  • (countable, mathematics) A member of one of several classes: natural numbers, integers, rational numbers, real numbers, complex numbers, quaternions.
  • Indicating the position of something in a list or sequence. Abbreviations: No'' or '' (in each case, sometimes written with a superscript "o", like Nº or №). The symbol "#" is also used in this manner.
  • Quantity.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-08, volume=407, issue=8839, page=52, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= The new masters and commanders , passage=From the ground, Colombo’s port does not look like much.
  • * Francis Bacon
  • Number itself importeth not much in armies where the people are of weak courage.
  • A sequence of digits and letters used to register people, automobiles, and various other items.
  • (countable, informal) A telephone number.
  • * 2001 , E. Forrest Hein, The Ruach Project, Xulon Press, page 86:
  • “[...] I wonder if you could get hold of him and have him call me here at Interior. I’m in my office, do you have my number ?”
  • * 2007 , Lindsey Nicole Isham, No Sex in the City: One Virgin's Confessions on Love, Lust, Dating, and Waiting, Kregel Publications, page 111:
  • When I agreed to go surfing with him he said, “Great, can I have your number'?” Well, I don’t give my ' number to guys I don’t know.
  • (grammar) Of a word or phrase, the state of being singular, dual or plural, shown by inflection.
  • (now, rare, in the plural) Poetic metres; verses, rhymes.
  • * 1635 , (John Donne), The Triple Foole :
  • Griefe brought to numbers cannot be so fierce, / For, he tames it, that fetters it in verse.
  • (countable) A performance; especially, a single song or song and dance routine within a larger show.
  • (countable, informal) A person
  • * 1968 , Janet Burroway, The dancer from the dance: a novel, Little, Brown, page 40:
  • I laughed. "Don't doubt that. She's a saucy little number ."
  • * 1988 , Erica Jong, Serenissima, Dell, page 214:
  • "Signorina Jessica," says the maid, a saucy little number , "your father has gone to his prayers and demands that you come to the synagogue at once [...]"
  • * 2005 , Denise A. Agnew, Kate Hill & Arianna Hart, By Honor Bound, Ellora's Cave Publishing, page 207:
  • He had to focus on the mission, staying alive and getting out, not on the sexy number rubbing up against him.
  • (countable, informal) An item of clothing, particularly a stylish one
  • * 2007 , Cesca Martin, Agony Angel: So You Think You've Got Problems..., Troubador Publishing Ltd, page 134:
  • The trouble was I was wearing my backless glittering number from the night before underneath, so unless I could persuade the office it was National Fancy Dress Day I was doomed to sweat profusely in bottle blue.
  • * 2007 , Lorelei James, Running with the Devil, Samhain Publishing, Ltd, page 46:
  • "I doubt the sexy number you wore earlier tonight fell from the sky."
  • (slang, chiefly, US) A marijuana cigarette, or joint; also, a quantity of marijuana bought form a dealer.
  • * 2009 , (Thomas Pynchon), Inherent Vice , Vintage 2010, page 12:
  • Back at his place again, Doc rolled a number , put on a late movie, found an old T-shirt, and sat tearing it up into short strips
  • (dated) An issue of a periodical publication.
  • the latest number of a magazine
    * (mathematical number) scalar
    * See also
    Derived terms
    * abundant number * algebraic number * binary number * cardinal number * complex number * decimal number * deficient number * do a number on * have someone's number * hexadecimal number * house number * hyperreal number * hypercomplex number * imaginary number * irrational number * meandric number * natural number * nice round number * number-cruncher * number-crunching * number field * number line * number one * number two * number theory * numberless * ordinal number * opposite number * perfect number * phone number * prime number * rational number * real number * round number * serial number * surreal number * take a number * telephone number * transcendental number * transfinite number * whole number * without number * (number)
    See also
    * (grammatical numbers) singular,? dual,? trial,? quadral,? paucal,? plural


    (en verb)
  • To label (items) with numbers; to assign numbers to (items).
  • Number the baskets so that we can find them easily.
  • To total or count; to amount to.
  • I don’t know how many books are in the library, but they must number in the thousands.
    Derived terms
    * number among

    See also


    Etymology 2

    From numb + .


  • (numb)
  • category


  • A group, often named or numbered, to which items are assigned based on similarity or defined criteria.
  • *
  • The traditional way of describing the similarities and differences between constituents is to say that they belong to categories'' of various types. Thus, words like ''boy'', ''girl'', ''man'', ''woman'', etc. are traditionally said to belong to the category''' of Nouns, whereas words like ''a'', ''the'', ''this'', and ''that'' are traditionally said to belong to the ' category of Determiners.
    This steep and dangerous climb belongs to the most difficult category .
    I wouldn't put this book in the same category as the author's first novel.
  • (mathematics) A collection of objects, together with a transitively closed collection of composable arrows between them, such that every object has an identity arrow, and such that arrow composition is associative.
  • One well-known category has sets as objects and functions as arrows.
    Just as a monoid consists of an underlying set with a binary operation "on top of it" which is closed, associative and with an identity, a category consists of an underlying digraph with an arrow composition operation "on top of it" which is transitively closed, associative, and with an identity at each object. In fact, a category's composition operation, when restricted to a single one of its objects, turns that object's set of arrows (which would all be loops) into a monoid.


    * (group to which items are assigned) class, family, genus, group, kingdom, order, phylum, race, tribe, type * See also

    Derived terms

    * category mistake * category theory * conceptual category * perceptual category * subcategory * supercategory