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I am looking for a word that means that something will improve with double, triple etc. speed, but not be that specific.

Example:

The new trains will increase the speed by multiple times compared to the old ones.

Is this a good use of "multiple times" and is it interpreted that the speed will increase with approximately 2+ times?

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    I was going to suggest manifold, but that seems to be more about variety, not magnitude. I think there's a similar word that would be appropriate, but I can't come up with it.
    – Barmar
    May 1, 2014 at 15:37
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    The whole sentence needs to be recast, plain and simple. The new trains will not increase speed (whose speed?) compared to the old ones. They will have or offer a higher speed compared to the old ones. Or travel at a higher speed. Or reduce travel time. Really anything except "increase the speed by multiple times". Once you've recast the sentence, you will immediately be able to say "several times" by saying, well, "several times".
    – ЯegDwight
    May 1, 2014 at 15:55
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    @Barmar the word is manyfold what you are thinking of.
    – Maulik V
    May 1, 2014 at 16:26
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    Yes, @MaulikV has it. One can use the -fold suffix with any number: five-fold, ten-fold, fifty-fold, manyfold. It's cognate to German -fach, with the same meaning. May 1, 2014 at 16:28
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    @JohnLawler I think the preposition "by" suggests multiplication rather than repetition. You wouldn't say "He went to the store by many times". As well, the context of the thing being described would make it clear whether repetition or multiplication makes sense.
    – Barmar
    May 1, 2014 at 16:35

3 Answers 3

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The word manifold does not fit there. Barmar just missed it! The proper word there is manyfold.

manyfold - By many times

As you are concerned, this does not tell something being increased by some figure (double etc.) but talks about several times/folds the speed is increased. As John suggests, it can be specific like two-fold, three-fold and so on but then it will take the preposition by. Note that manyfold does not require that as it includes it in its meaning.

Having this said, after changing the structure, the sentence can be...

As compared to the old (type of) trains, the new trains will have their speed increased manyfold. or
The speed of the new trains will be increased manyfold. (Thanks J.R.)

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    Good word, but I don't like the restructured sentence.
    – J.R.
    May 1, 2014 at 16:57
  • @J.R. Thanks. Is there any way I can reconstruct will...have....and not past participle? for the sure thing in future?
    – Maulik V
    May 1, 2014 at 17:02
  • Use speed as the subject; that's one way to do it: The speed of the new trains will be increased manyfold.
    – J.R.
    May 1, 2014 at 21:43
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    @MaulikV: This was the word I was looking for! I could just not for the life of me remember it! Thank you =) May 2, 2014 at 1:08
  • While this is certainly not incorrect and will most likely get your point across, I don't think I've ever heard someone use the word "manyfold", and it may come across as archaic. "Many times over" would be a much more common equivalent.
    – JLRishe
    May 2, 2014 at 9:24
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The new trains will be many times faster than the old ones.

This is general and colloquial, but more than a single word.

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The problem is that "many times" specifically means full multiples and in the case of train service this is far from likely.

Meaning if the train service currently runs at 70mph, a train traveling "many times" faster would have to travel at at least 210mph for that wording to be accurate and not misleading.

The new trains will increase the speed substantially compared to the old ones.

Is good for an increase from 70mph to over 100mph.

Edit: For the specific example given, a native speaker would expect to hear:

The new trains will travel twice as fast as the old ones.

"Many" means a number that would be notably larger than 2.

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  • I did specify that it will increase the speed by n * speed, where n is 2-40. May 2, 2014 at 1:06
  • @Phataas Is it possible that the new train is actually training (as in data mining), and the speed it will increase is of some algorithm based on the training, not those railway trains? (Are we going to have a new kind of train that runs at 4000 km/h?!) May 2, 2014 at 7:26
  • The sentence is just an example. It does not have to be "logic" that new trains are that much faster. May 2, 2014 at 12:44
  • Maybe, but it you tell someone the train is "many times" faster, then they learn that it's only twice as fast, you will take a big hit in credibility.
    – Johns-305
    May 2, 2014 at 13:43

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