From the second edition (1989):
hundred, n. and a.
(ˈhʌndrəd) Forms: α. 1– hundred, 1 -ræd, 3 Orm. hunndredd, 3–5 hondred, 3–7 hundered, 4 houndred, 4–6 hundrid(e, -ryd, 5–6 hondered, -ryd; 3–4 hund-, hond-, houndret, 4 hunderet, -it, 4 hund-, hondird, hundyrd, 4–8 hundered, 5 -urd, -yrt, honderd, -ert(e. β. 1 hundrað, -reð, 4 -reþ(e, (-richt), 4–5 -rith, 4–7 -reth, houndreth, 5 hundrethe, 5–6 -ryth(e, 6 hundereth, honderyth, -dreth; 6 (9 dial.) hunderth. γ. (Chiefly Sc.) 3–5 hundre, 4 hondre, 4– hunder, 5–6 hundir, -yr, 9 dial. hunner. [OE. hundred, pl. -red, -redu, neut., = OFris. hundred, -erd, hondert, OS. hunderod (MLG. hundert, MDu. hondert(d), Du. honderd), late OHG. (MHG., Ger.) hundert, ON. hundrað (pl. -oð) (Sw. hundra, Da. hundrede), corresp. to a Gothic type *hunda-raþ, lit. the tale or number of 100 (-raþ, -rôþ, related to raþjan to reckon, tell, raþjô reckoning, number). Other OE. words for ‘hundred’ were hund (q.v.), and hund-téonti = ON. tío teger, OHG. zehanzug, zehanzô, Gothic taihuntêhund, taihuntaihund. The word hundrað in ON. orig. meant 120; later, 120 and 100 were distinguished as hundrað tolfrǿtt ‘duodecimal hundred’ and hundrað tírǿtt ‘decimal hundred’. In English the word has been usually applied to the decimal hundred, but remnants of the older usage remain: see sense 3. The hundrath, -reth forms are from ON., as are prob. hundre, hunder, etc.: cf. Sw. hundra.]


1. The cardinal number equal to ten times ten, or five score: denoted by the symbols 100 or C. a. As n. or quasi-n., with plural.


(a) In singular. Usually a (arch. an) hundred, emphatically one hundred; in phrases expressing rate, the hundred.
in (†upon, †at, †for) the hundred (in reckoning interest, etc.); now usually expressed by ‘per cent.’


The construction (when there is any) is in OE. with gen. pl., later with of and a pl. noun. In mod.Eng. this is limited to definite things (e.g. a hundred of the men, of those men, of them); except in the case of measures of quantity, e.g. a hundred of bricks, we do not now use this constr. before a noun standing alone (e.g. a hundred of men), but substitute the constr. in b. But a hundred is construed with a plural verb, e.g. a hundred of my friends were chosen; a second hundred were then enrolled.

c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Matt. xviii. 28 Hundrað scillinga [Rushw. G. hundred denera; Ags. Gosp. an hund penea]. c1000 Ags. Ps. (Th.) lxxxix. [xc.] 10 Þeah þe heora hundred seo. c1200 Ormin 6078 All swa summ illc an hunndredd iss Full tale. a1300 Cursor M. 6977 It was na folk þam moght wit-stand, Þat an hundreth moght for-chace. 1450–1530 Myrr. our Ladye 309 Twyes syxe tymes ten, that ys to a hundereth and twenty. c1540 Pilgr. T. 50 in Thynne's Animadv. (1865) App. i. 78 A-mongst an hundreth‥of thes religyuse brethren. 1553 Gresham in Burgon Life (1839) I. 132 To lett upon interest for a xii monthes daye, after xiii upon the hundred. 1575–85 Abp. Sandys Serm. (Parker Soc.) 203 The lender not content to receive less advantage than thirty at the hundred. 1617 Moryson Itin. iii. 91 For gaine of fifty in the hundred. 1648 Nethersole Self-condemned i. Aijb, Not one of an hundred of them could tell. 1663 Gerbier Counsel Divb, About one hundred of Leagues. 1692 Bentley Boyle Lect. 159 'Tis above a hundred to one against any particular throw‥with four cubical dice. 1737 Pope Hor. Ep. i. vi. 75 Add one round hundred. 1885 Times (weekly ed.) 17 Apr. 9/4 Tickets fabricated by the hundred.


(b) In plural: hundreds. [OE. hundred, -u, neuter, ME. hundredes.]
In Arith. often ellipt. for the digits denoting the number of hundreds: cf. units, tens.

c1000 Ags. Gosp. Mark vi. 40 Hi ða sæton hundredon and fiftion. c1050 Suppl. Ælfric's Gloss. in Wr.-Wülcker 176/26 Centurias, etalu, uel heapas, uel hundredu. c1275 Lay. 27830 Of alle þan hundredes Þat to-hewe were. a1300 Cursor M. 8886 O quens had he [Solomon] hundrets seuen. c1380 Wyclif Last Age Chirche in Todd Three Treat. p. xxvi, Two and twenty hundriddis of ȝeeris. c1425 Craft Nombrynge (E.E.T.S.) 28 So mony hundrythes ben in þe nounbre þat schal come of þe multiplicacioun of þe ylke 2 articuls. 1542 Recorde Gr. Artes 118a, His place is the voyde space next aboue hundredes. 1613 Purchas Pilgrimage (1614) 110 Governours of thousands, hundreths, fifties and tens. 1617 Moryson Itin. iii. 78 Great store of red Deare‥which the Princes kill by hundreds at a time. 1859 Darwin Orig. Spec. iii. (1878) 52 One fly deposits hundreds of eggs. 1876 Digby Real Prop. i. 3 The body of invaders is a regular army‥divided into ‘hundreds’ of warriors. Mod. Some hundreds of men were present.


(c) After a numeral adjective, hundred is commonly used as a collective plural, with the same construction as in (a). (Cf. dozen.)

c1050 Byrhtferth's Handboc in Anglia VIII. 303 Þritti siðon seofon beoð twa hundred & tyn. a1100 O.E. Chron. (Laud MS.) an. 656 ⁋11 Seox hundred wintra. c1200 Ormin 6071 Þurrh tale off fowwerr hunndredd. c1205 Lay. 613 Six hundred of his cnihten. c1340 Cursor M. 13345 (Fairf.) Þe folk him folowed‥be many hundre & thousande. c1460 Battle of Otterbourne 260 Of nyne thowsand Ynglyssh men Fyve hondert cam awaye. 1668 Hale Pref. Rolle's Abridgm. 3 These many hundred of years. 1719 J. T. Philipps tr. Thirty Four Confer. 105 He deluded many hundred of Women [mod. many hundred w., or hundreds of w.] 1782 Cowper Loss of Royal George ii, Eight hundred of the brave. Mod. He lost several hundred of his men in crossing the river.


b. As adj. or quasi-adj., followed immediately by a plural (or collective) noun.
In OE. sometimes used as a true adjective, either invariable (like other cardinal numbers above three), or declined in concord with its n. The use in later times may be regarded either as a continuation of this, or as an ellipsis of of before the noun. The word retains its substantival character so far as to be always preceded by a or some adjective (numeral, demonstrative, possessive, relative, or interrogative). Either the sing. or the collective pl. is used, as in a (a), (c). Cf. dozen, which has precisely parallel constructions.

c975 Rushw. Gosp. Mark vi. 37 Mið peningum twæm hundreðum. c1000 Ags. Gosp. ibid., Mid twam hundred peneon. c1200 Vices & Virtues 113 Swo maniȝe hundred wintre. 1297 R. Glouc. (Rolls) 2342 An hondred kniȝtes. a1300 Cursor M. 22747 Þe hundret and þe þusand knightes. c1340 Ibid. 10399 (Fairf.) These hundird shepe that were ther. c1420 Sir Amadace (Camden) xii, Thre hundrythe pownde Of redy monay. c1470 Henry Wallace i. 126 Scwne‥Quhar kingis was cround viij hundyr ȝer and mar. 1568 Grafton Chron. II. 83 Nine hundreth thousande poundes. 1579 Fulke Heskins' Parl. 256 A whole hundreth Popes in a rowe. 1611 Bible Transl. Pref. 5 Within a few hundreth yeeres after Christ. 1665 Hooke Microgr. 216 A hundred and twenty five thousand times bigger. 1782 Cowper Loss of Royal George vi, With twice four hundred men. 1818 Shelley Rev. Islam iv. xxxii, Many a mountain chain which rears Its hundred crests aloft. 1864 Bowen Logic x. 325 After one hundred millions of favourable instances‥the hundred-million-and-first instance should be an exception. Mod. The hundred and one odd chances.


(b) Phrase. the Hundred Days [the immediate source of the phrase is the speech delivered by Louis de Chabrol de Volvic, prefect of Paris, to Louis XVIII in 1815 (‘Cent jours se sont écoulés depuis le moment fatal où votre majesté quitta sa capitale’)], the period of the restoration of Napoleon Bonaparte, after his escape from Elba, ending with his abdication on 22 June 1815. Also transf.

1827 Scott Napoleon IX. i. 33 Here, therefore, ended that short space‥that period of an Hundred Days, in which the events of a century seem to be contained. 1862 C. Knight Popular Hist. Eng. VIII. ii. 21 This landing in the Gulf of St. Juan on the 1st of March was the introductory scene to the great drama called ‘The Hundred Days’. 1887 O. W. Holmes (title) Our hundred days in Europe. 1956 J. M. Burns Roosevelt ix. 169 The President asked for quick authorization of a civilian conservation corps.‥ This bill interested Roosevelt himself as much as any single measure of the Hundred Days. 1965 T. C. Sorensen Kennedy ix. 242 ‘I'm sick of reading how we're planning another “hundred days” of miracles,’ he [sc. J. F. Kennedy] said, ‘and I'd like to know who on the staff is talking that up. Let's put in that this won't all be finished in a hundred days or a thousand.’ 1965 Mrs. L. B. Johnson White House Diary 10 Apr. (1970) 257 Lyndon talked of the harvest of legislation. He said that never has there been such a hundred days. 1966 H. Wilson Purpose in Power i. 1 (heading) The first hundred days.


(c) Hundred Years War, the intermittent war between England and France from 1337 to 1453, arising out of the claim of the English kings to the French crown.

1874 J. R. Green Short Hist. Eng. People 275 The Hundred Years' War had ended. 1959 M. McKisack 14th Cent. 127 Like the second world war of the twentieth century, the Hundred Years War gathered momentum slowly. Gascony was declared confiscate in May 1337 and in October Edward laid his claim to the French Crown; but there was no organized campaigning for another two years. 1961 E. F. Jacob 15th Cent. 505 In the spring of 1453 Charles VII opened the last campaign of the Hundred Years War in overwhelming force.


(d) Phr., the Hundred Flowers: name given to a period of approximately six weeks in the summer of 1957 when certain elements of the Chinese population were invited to criticize the political system then obtaining in Communist China. (See quot. 19582.)

1958 L. F. Edwards tr. Fauré's Serpent & Tortoise xiv. 121 In the intellectual China of the Hundred Flowers, no one has the right to be a counter-revolutionary, but one has, to a certain extent, the right to be an idealist. 1958 Listener 6 Nov. 718/1 The campaign for free speech [in China] that followed the encouraging words of Mao Tsetung—‘let a hundred flowers bloom’—was evidently designed as an operation to find out what precisely were the prevailing criticisms of policy. 1959 Ibid. 5 Feb. 255/1 The intellectuals [in China] who blossomed with criticism during the brief Hundred Flowers Movement. 1973 Ibid. 2 Aug. 147/3 The humiliations which the Party had suffered during the so-called Hundred Flowers period.


c. The cardinal form hundred is also used as an ordinal when followed by other numbers, the last of which alone takes the ordinal form: e.g. ‘the hundred-and-first’, ‘the hundred-and-twentieth’, ‘the six-hundred-and-fortieth part of a square mile’.


d. After a numeral, used to express the two noughts in the figure representing the number of hours since midnight. Cf. hour 1b.

1953 P. C. Berg Dict. New Words 95/1 Hundred, the two noughts in the numerical symbols of full hours; e.g. we will meet at nine hundred hours [= 9.00 a.m.]. 1967 B. Knox Blacklight vi. 135 ‘What's the time?’‥‘Coming up for seven-forty-five sir.’ ‘Let's be formal and say near enough to twenty hundred hours.‥ Wait till twenty-two hundred, mister.’ 1973 A. Hunter Gently French i. 13, I got back to Elphinstone Road at about oh-one hundred hours.


2. a. Often used indefinitely or hyperbolically for a large number: cf. thousand. (With various constructions, as in 1.)

a1300 Cursor M. 17031 He has a hundret sith Dublid þis ilk pain. 1362 Langl. P. Pl. A. vi. 11 An hundred of ampolles on his hat seeten. a1450 Knt. de la Tour (1868) 131 God rewardithe her in this worldely lyff, hundred sithe more after the departinge oute of this world. 1513 Douglas Æneis ii. iv. [v.] 2 A fer gretar wondir And mair dreidfull to cativis be sic hundir. 1573 J. Sandford Hours Recreat. (1576) 12 That one growing misorder breed not an hundred. 1638 F. Junius Paint. of Ancients 66 Altered into a hundred severall fashions and shapes. 1738 Swift Pol. Conversat. p. xlvi, How can she acquire those hundreds of Graces and Motions, and Airs? 1848 Thackeray Van. Fair xiii, You and Mr. Sedley made the match a hundred years ago. 1885 Times 20 Feb. 5/1 The hundred and one forms of small craft used by the Chinese to gain an honest livelihood.


b. Phrases: not a hundred miles from; within a hundred miles of: near, close to, in or at; also fig.; (all the same in) a hundred years (hence) (and similar expressions): gnomic formulas of consolation for present adversity; a hundred of bricks: see brick n.1 5; a hundred to one: a hundred chances to one; hence, an expression indicating very slight probability (implying ‘a hundred to one against’) or very strong probability (‘a hundred to one in favour of’).

1647 M. Verney in F. P. Verney Mem. (1892) II. xiv. 370 Tis a hundred to one pegg's husband turns them out of his house again within a fortnight. 1675 T. Jordan Triumphs of London 21 Though now she be pleasant and sweet to the sense, Will be damnably mouldy a hundred year hence. 1760 Sterne Tr. Shandy II. iv. ix. 72 What a chapter of chances, said my father.‥ 'Twas a hundred to one—cried my uncle Toby. 1783 in J. Ritson Select Coll. Eng. Songs II. 14 We shall be nothing An hundred years hence. 1821 Kaleidoscope 27 Feb. 277/3 A sporting gentleman passing by a house, not a hundred miles from —— street. 1827 P. Egan Anecdotes of Turf 270 Within one hundred miles of the great Chancery shop of the kingdom. 1838 Dickens Nich. Nick. (1839) ix. 76 As she frequently remarked when she made any such mistake, it would be all the same a hundred years hence. 1852 Leisure Hour I. 52/2 Scandalous transactions said to have transpired between two ‘well-known’ individuals ‘not a hundred miles off’. 1874 L. Troubridge Life amongst Troubridges (1966) ix. 75 Let's look cheerful—it will be all the same a hundred years hence. 1888 ‘R. Boldrewood’ Robbery under Arms III. iv. 50 If he gets clear off‥you're right. But it's a hundred to one against it. 1891 Kipling Life's Handicap 171 Did you ever know old Hummy behave like that before or within a hundred miles of it? 1895 A. W. Pinero Benefit of Doubt ii. 109 Don't fret; it'll be all the same a hundred years hence. 1903 J. M'Govan Brought to Bay 74 This retreat, he admitted, was not a hundred miles from the spot where they were at that moment seated. 1914 C. Mackenzie Sinister St. II. iv. ix. 1105 ‘Oh, well, it'll be all the same in a hundred years.’ She picked up her white gloves, and swaggered across the crowded beerhall. 1925 W. S. Maugham Painted Veil i. 11, I say, you must pull yourself together. It's a hundred to one it wasn't Walter. 1955 D. Garnett Aspects of Love I. 27 Of course it is a hundred to one that the girl is just a tart he has picked up in Montpellier. 1968 C. Watson Charity ends at Home vi. 69 Certain information has reached me privately concerning the disposal of funds raised not a hundred miles from here in the name of so-called ‘charity’. 1971 G. Household Doom's Caravan iv. 174 All the same a hundred years hence, as my Nanny used to say. 1973 M. Woodhouse Blue Bone xvi. 174, I don't want you, Rodway, or you, Quickie, within a hundred miles of me, ever.


c. a or one hundred per cent: used adjectivally or adverbially with the meaning ‘entire(ly), complete(ly)’. Hence hundred-per-center, hundred-per-centism. orig. U.S.

1911 H. S. Harrison Queed vii. 90 You do more work in twenty-four hours than you're doing now, besides feelin' one hundred per cent. better all the time. 1918 T. Roosevelt in N.Y. Times 19 July 6/6 There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100 per cent. Americanism.‥ No man who is not 100 per cent. American is entitled to the support of any party. 1923 Westm. Gaz. 1 Jan., An administrator is 100 per cent. successful only when he gets every individual in the factory‥working as enthusiastically as if he were working for himself on his own job. Ibid. 9 Feb., Under a hundred per cent. disability. 1923 Smart Set Feb. 30 (title) Diary of a 100% American. 1926 W. R. Inge Lay Thoughts 135 Such detachment would not be possible to a ‘hundred per cent. American’. a1927 W. W. Woollcott (title of poem) I am a one hundred percent. American. 1928 Publishers' Weekly 26 May 2164/2, I have frequently encountered excellent accounting systems which were 100 per cent. useless. 1928 Observer 4 Mar. 13/2 Perhaps New York is not the place for the Hundred-per-centers. I certainly never met any. Ibid. 8 Apr. 8/2 He is really another victim of hundred-per-centism. 1931 G. B. Shaw Platform & Pulpit (1962) 232 The first thing that would occur to a real hundred per cent. American in Russia is that‥it must be a splendid country to make money in. 1931 Times Lit. Suppl. 29 Jan. 76/3 The inevitable ‘honest-to-God’ hundred-per-cent. American young man‥besieges and wins Valerie's heart. 1931 G. D. H. Cole in W. Rose Outl. Mod. Knowl. 666, I see no sign of the actual approach of this hundred per cent. American paradise. 1946 Amer. Speech XXI. 34/1 Hundred per center,‥one who observes all customs and traditions without demur. 1946 R.A.F. Jrnl. May 169 The bomber crews had to make 100 per cent. certain of putting their H.E. loads right on the objective. 1968 M. Woodhouse Rock Baby xxiv. 233 You're one hundred per cent sure they'll never make any sort of bang, then?


d. a hundred per cent: fit, well, recovered. Freq. in negative contexts.

1960 N. Mitford Don't tell Alfred xiv. 155, I don't feel a hundred per cent. 1965 V. Canning Whip Hand xi. 131 How's the arm?’ ‘It wasn't broken.‥ It's almost a hundred per cent now.’ 1965 N. Freeling Criminal Conversation i. viii. 52, I wasn't quite well, not ill but not quite a hundred per cent, and he did make me better. 1967 I. Hamilton Man with Brown Paper Face xv. 214 Actually, I'm not completely one hundred per cent. 1973 ‘D. Craig’ Bolthole ii. 30 He's been, well, off colour, yes. Not ill, but not a hundred per cent.


3. In the sale of various commodities, often used for a definite number greater than five score; see quots.: esp. great hundred or long hundred, usually = six score, or a hundred and twenty.

1469 Househ. Ord. (1790) 102 Salt fishe for Lent‥at 204 [sic, but ? error] to the hundred. 1533–4 Act 25 Hen. VIII, c. 13 §12 The nomber of the C. of shepe‥in some countrey the great C where .vj. Score is accompted for the C. 1601 F. Tate Househ. Ord. Edw. II (1876) 61 Of somme manner of fish the hundred containeth six score, and of some other sort, nine score. 1688 R. Holme Armoury iii. v. 260/2 Ling, Cod, or Haberdine, have 124 to the Hundred. 1727–41 Chambers Cycl. s.v., Deal boards are sixscore to the hundred, called the long hundred. 1813 Q. Rev. IX. 279 To take from ten to twenty thousand mackerel a-day at a price not exceeding ten shillings the hundred of six score, or a penny a-piece. 1859 Sala Tw. round Clock (1861) 16 Fresh herrings are sold from the vessel by the long hundred (130). 1886 Glasgow Her. 13 Sept. 4/2 A mease [of herring]‥is five hundreds of 120 each.


4. Elliptical uses. a. = hundredweight.

1542 Recorde Gr. Artes (1575) 203 An hundred is not just 100, but is 112 pounde. 1743 Lond. & Country Brew. iv. (ed. 2) 322 Three hundred Weight of Coals make but a hundred of Coaks. 1776 G. Semple Building in Water 37 This Ram is only four hundred and a half. 1838 Knickerbocker XI. 15 When requested‥to say how much flour she should make into bread, at their first baking, she answered‥‘I suppose about a quarter of a hundred.’ 1852 Trans. Mich. Agric. Soc. III. 332 To dispose of the compound of acorns, ground nuts and carrion for $2 per hundred. 1861 Trans. Ill. Agric. Soc. IV. 373 We want a horse sixteen hands high, that will weigh fifteen hundred.


b. A hundred of some other weight, measure, or quantity.

1538 Yatton Churchw. Acc. (Som. Rec. Soc.) 152 Payd for ij hundryth of bords to make ye Church coffur .iiijs. viijd. 1703 Moxon Mech. Exerc. 258 An Hundred of Lime, being 25 Bushels, or an hundred Pecks. 1703 T. N. City & C. Purchaser 214 Oak is worth sawing 2s. 8d. per hundred,‥That is the hundred Superficial Feet. 1875 Bedford Sailor's Pocket Bk. x. (ed. 2) 367 Books of gold leaf contain twenty-five leaves. Gilders estimate their work by the number of ‘hundreds’ it will take (meaning one hundred leaves) instead of the number of books.


c. A hundred pounds (of money).

1543 Becon Polecy of Warre Wks. (1560–3) i. 139 The preste‥maye dispende hondreds yearely, and do nought for it. 1599 B. Jonson Ev. Man out of Hum. ii. iii, [He] may dispend some seven or eight hundred a year. 1728–49 [see cool a. 7]. 1771 Smollett Humph. Cl. 11 June, I'll bet a cool hundred he swings before Christmas. 1806 T. S. Surr Winter in Lond. (ed. 3) II. 150 It‥contained three bank~notes for one hundred each. 1855 Cornwall 257 Laying out a few hundreds. 1876 T. Hardy Ethelberta (1890) 411 Faith and I have three hundred a year between us.


d. A hundred years, a century. Obs. exc. dial.

a1656 Bp. Hall Rem. Wks. (1660) 298 Even in the second hundred (so antient‥this festivity is). 1883 Longm. Mag. Oct. 638 Since the last year of the last ‘hunner’.


5. a. In England (and subseq. in Ireland): A subdivision of a county or shire, having its own court; also formerly applied to the court itself: cf. county1 4. Chiltern Hundreds: see Chiltern.
Most of the English counties were divided into hundreds; but in some counties wapentakes, and in others wards, appear as divisions of a similar kind. The origin of the division into hundreds, which appears already in OE. times, is exceedingly obscure, and very diverse opinions have been given as to its origin. ‘It has been regarded as denoting simply a division of a hundred hides of land; as the district which furnished a hundred warriors to the host; as representing the original settlement of the hundred warriors; or as composed of a hundred hides, each of which furnished a single warrior’ (Stubbs Const. Hist. I. v. §45). ‘It is certain that in some instances the hundred was deemed to contain exactly 100 hides of land’ (F. W. Maitland). The hundred, OHG. (Alemannisch) huntari, huntre, was a subdivision of the gau in Ancient Germany; but connexion between this and the English hundred is not clearly made out.

c1000 Laws of Edgar i. (title) Þis is seo erædnyss, hu mon þæt hundred healdan sceal. Ibid. c. 3 And se man þe þis forsitte, and þæs hundredes dom forsace‥esylle man þam hundrede xxx peninga, and æt þam æfteran cyrre syxti penea, half þam hundrede, half þam hlaforde. c1000 Laws of Ethelred i. c. i. §2 Nime se hlaford tween etreowe þeenas innan þam hundrede. ?a1143 William of Malmesbury Gesta Reg. 11 §122 Centurias quas dicunt hundrez, et decimas quas thethingas vocant instituit [Elfredus]. 1292 Britton i. i. §13 En counteez et hundrez et en Court de chescun fraunc tenaunt. Ibid. iii. §7 De amercier nul homme en court de baroun ne en hundred. c1325 Poem Times Edw. II 469 in Pol. Songs (Camden) 344 And thise assisours, that comen to shire and to hundred Damneth men for silver. 1450 J. Paston Petit. in P. Lett. No. 77 I. 107 In the courtes of the hundred. 1465 Marg. Paston Ibid. No. 510 II. 201 Endytyd‥by the enquest of Fourhoo hunder. 1480 Caxton Descr. Brit. 20 In Yorkshire ben xxij hondredis. 1559 in Strype Ann. Ref. (1824) I. ii. App. vii. 409 There is‥in every houndrethe one head counstable. 1588 Fraunce Lawiers Log. i. xii. 52. 1632 Massinger City Madam i. ii, Thy sire, constable Of the hundred. 1656 Evelyn Mem. 8 July, [Dedham] a clothing town, as most are in Essex, but lies in the unwholesome hundreds. 1748 De Foe's Tour Gt. Brit. I. 7 (D.) From hence [Tilbury Fort] there is nothing for many miles together remarkable but a continued level of unhealthy marshes called The Three Hundreds, till we come before Leigh. 1765 Blackstone Comm. Introd. iv. 115 As ten families of freeholders made up a town or tithing, so ten tithings composed a superior division, called a hundred, as consisting of ten times ten families. 1806–7 J. Beresford Miseries Hum. Life (1826) ii. xxx, On a visit in the Hundreds of Essex. 1874 Stubbs Const. Hist. I. v. 96 The union of a number of townships for the purpose of judicial administration, peace, and defence, formed what is known as the hundred or wapentake. 1876 Digby Real Prop. i. 3 It is impossible to trace the exact links of connexion between the hundreds of warriors who constituted the sub-divisions of the Teutonic army and the territorial hundred of later times; there can however be no question that the two are connected. 1886 Act 49 & 50 Vict. c. 38 Whereas by law the inhabitants of the hundred or other area in which property is damaged by persons riotously and tumultuously assembled together are liable in certain cases to pay compensation for such damage, and it is expedient to make other provision [etc.]‥§5‥the amount required to meet the said payments shall be raised as part of the police rate. 1888 Act 51 & 52 Vict. c. 41 §3 There shall be transferred to the council of each county‥The making, assessing, and levying of county, police, hundred, and all rates. Ibid. §100 The expression ‘division of a county’, in‥this Act‥includes any hundred, lathe, wapentake, or other like division.


b. A division of a county in the British American colonies or provinces of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, which still exists in the State of Delaware.

1621 Ordin. Virginia 24 July in Stith Hist. Virginia App. iv. 33 The other council‥shall consist for the present, of the said council of state, and of two burgesses out of every town, hundred, or other particular plantation. 1637–8 in Archives of Maryland III. 59 Whereas the west side of St. Georges river is now‥thought fit to be erected into a hundred by the name of St. Georges hundred. 1683 Col. Rec. Pennsylv. I. 21 Power to Divide the said Countrey and Islands, into Townes, Hundreds and Counties. 1888 Bryce Amer. Commw. II. xlviii. 224 note, In Maryland hundreds, which still exist in Delaware, were for a long time the chief administrative divisions. 1896 P. A. Bruce Econ. Hist. Virginia I. 210 At certain intervals‥houses were put up, the occupants of which formed a guard‥for the population of the Hundreds.


c. Proverb. Obs.

1546 J. Heywood Prov. (1867) 76 What ye wan in the hundred ye lost in the sheere. 1625 Bacon Ess., Empire (Arb.) 307 Taxes, and Imposts vpon them [merchants] doe seldome good to the Kings Reuenew; For that that he winnes in the Hundred, he leeseth in the Shire. 1682 Bunyan Holy War (R.T.S.) 297 They are Mr. Penny Wise-pound-foolish, and Mr. Get-i' th' Hundred-and-lose-i-the-Shire.


6. A game at cards. Obs. (Cf. cent2.)

1636 Davenant Wits i. ii, Their glad sons are left seven for their chance, At hazard, hundred, and all made at sent. 1652 Urquhart Jewel Wks. (1834) 277 As we do of card kings in playing at the hundred.


7. hundreds and thousands: a name for very small comfits.

c1830 [Remembered in use]. 1894 G. Egerton Keynotes 137 Little cakes with hundreds and thousands on top. 1922 G. K. Chesterton in Illustr. London News 12 Aug. 234/1 There ought not to be anything but a plural for‥the sweets called hundreds and thousands. 1932 A. Christie Thirteen Problems i. 22 ‘Cooks nearly always put hundreds and thousands on trifle, dear,’ she said. ‘Those little pink and white sugar things.’ 1953 Dylan Thomas Under Milk Wood (1954) 60 Brandyballs, winegums, hundreds and thousands, liquorice sweet as sick. 1967 N. Freeling Strike Out 87 Little sugary pellets like hundreds and thousands.


8. Comb. a. In sense 1 (or 2). (a) attrib., as hundred-work, sawyers' work paid for by the hundred (square feet); (b) in adj. relation with a noun in the plural, as hundred-eyes, name for the plant Periwinkle (Vinca); hundred-legs, a centipede; also with a noun in the singular, forming adjectival compounds, in sense Having, containing, measuring, etc. a hundred (of what is denoted by the second element), as hundred-foot, hundred-franc, hundred-leaf, hundred-mesh, hundred-mile, hundred-petal, hundred-pound (e.g. a hundred-franc piece, a hundred-pound note); so hundred-pounder, a cannon firing shot weighing a hundred pounds each (see pounder); (c) parasynthetic, as hundred-citied, hundred-footed, hundred-gated, hundred-handed, hundred-headed, hundred-hued, hundred leaved, hundred-throated, etc., adjs.

1855 Kingsley Heroes, Theseus ii. 237 Minos, the King of *hundred-citied Crete. 1882 Rep. to Ho. Repr. Prec. Met. U.S. 264 A *100-foot shaft. 1646 Sir T. Browne Pseud. Ep. iii. xv. 142 The Scolopendra or *hundred footed insect. 1742 Young Nt. Th. ix. 922 Thy *hundred-gated Capitals. 1876 Geo. Eliot Dan. Der. III. xxxviii. 131 The hundred-gated Thebes. 1805 W. Taylor in Ann. Rev. III. 266 The *hundred-handed Briareus. 1591 Percivall Sp. Dict., Cien cabeças, *hundred headed thistle. 1601 Holland Pliny II. 83 To bring forth these *hundred-leafe Roses. 1811 A. T. Thomson Lond. Disp. (1818) 345 The petals of the *Hundred-leaved Rose. 1808 Bentham Sc. Reform 50 A bone breaking *hundred mile road. 1692 Lond. Gaz. No. 2831/4 Lost‥an *Hundred Pound Bag. 1684 J. Peter Siege Vienna 109 Mortar-piece, a *hundred pounder. 1842 Tennyson Vision of Sin 27 As 'twere a *hundred-throated nightingale. 1703 T. N. City & C. Purchaser 239 Some Sawyers claim it as a Custom, to have half Breaking-work, and the other half *Hundred-work.


b. In sense 5. hundred-court, in Eng. Hist. the court having civil and criminal jurisdiction within a territorial hundred; †hundred-man, OE. hundredes-man, the constable or officer of the hundred, = hundreder 1; †hundred-mote, the assembly of the hundred, the hundred-court; †hundred-penny, a tax or payment anciently levied in a hundred.

1671 F. Phillips Reg. Necess. 508 Unless he could not in the Century, or *Hundred-Court obtain any Remedy. 1789 W. Hutton (title) History of the Hundred Court. 1874 Stubbs Const. Hist. I. v. 104 The hundred court was entitled to declare folk right in every suit. a1000 Laws of Edgar i. c. 2 Gyf neod on handa stande, cyðe hit man þam *hundredes-men, and he syððan þam teoðing-mannum. Ibid. c. 4 Buton he hæbbe þæs hundredes mann[es] ewitnyssa, oððe þæs teoðingmannes. 1235–52 Rentalia Glaston. (Som. Rec. Soc.) 210 Et namiat cum hundredmanno in hundredo. 1874 Stubbs Const. Hist. I. v. 102 On analogy‥we may fairly maintain that the original hundred-man or hundredes-ealdor was an elected officer, and the convener and constituting functionary of the court which he held. 1839 Keightley Hist. Eng. I. 77 The Hundred also had its Court, named the *Hundred or Folc-Mote. 1874 Green Short Hist. iii. §3. 125 The Charter was‥sworn to at every hundred-mote. 1189–95 Charter in Wetherhal Register (1897) 30 Et omnes terræ ad eam pertinentes‥sint quiete‥de *hundredpeni et de thethingepeni et de legerwite. 1293 Rolls Parlt. I. 115/1 Liberi et quieti ab omni Scotto‥et de Hidagio‥Hundredespeny, Borchafpeny, Thethyngpeny.