How to understand "add the first number to itself"

If you multiply one number by another, you add the first number to itself as many times as is indicated by the second number. For example 2 multiplied by 3 is equal to 6. (Collins Dictionary)

2*3=
Second time: 4+2=6
Third time: 6+2=8
then the result is 8?

What did I miss?

• 2 + 2 + 2 = 6. That's adding 2 to itself twice. Dec 12, 2022 at 11:03
• @MichaelHarvey How about this: You add the first number to itself one time less than what is indicated by the second number. Dec 12, 2022 at 11:56
• Congrats, you've found a mistake in a major dictionary! I've reported it to them.
– gotube
Dec 12, 2022 at 16:45
• @gotube Thanks. Please update me when you get the feedback. Dec 13, 2022 at 2:29
• @ForOU Just got a form letter thanking me. I'll let you know if anything else happens.
– gotube
Dec 13, 2022 at 9:06

It's a malformed (wrongly simplified) definition of multiplication.

1. add the first number to itself: 2 + 2 = 4
2. add the first number to itself: 2 + 2 = 4
3. add the first number to itself: 2 + 2 = 4

It makes no sense.

You add the first number to the result of the previous step (if none, to 0) as many times as is indicated by the second number.

1. add the first number to 0: 2 + 0 = 2
2. add the first number to the result of the previous step: 2 + 2 = 4
3. add the first number to the result of the previous step: 2 + 4 = 6

My definition might not be perfectly mathematical, but, at least, it can be logically followed.

• Does it show how English grads don't understand numbers? Dec 12, 2022 at 11:30