bulk


bulk
bulk n Bulk, mass, volume mean a body of usually material substance that constitutes a thing or unit.
Bulk is applied mainly to what is or appears to be inordinately large or heavy
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the bulk of ancient minster— Wordsworth

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and often more or less shapeless or unshapely
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on the living sea rolls an inanimate bulkShelley

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a blue night set with stars, the bulk of the solitary mesas cutting into the firmament— Cather

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Dr. Lanskell sank his gouty bulk into the armchair behind his desk— Wharton

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Mass is applied mainly to something, whether material or immaterial, that is or gives the appearance of being built up by the piling or gathering together of things of the same kind so that they cohere and have a real or apparent unity
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the towering mass of the Sierras

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pieces of obsolete science, imprisoned ... in the solid mass of a religious creed— Inge

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the mass [of people] never comes up to the standard of its best member, but on the contrary degrades itself to a level with the lowest— Thoreau

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Volume usually applies to something that flows and is therefore without outline and often continuous in extent
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a tremendous volume of water

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a volume of gas poured into the room

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it [the voice] rose through progressive gradations of sweetness and power, until its volume seemed to envelop her— Hawthorne

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These three terms also come into comparison when they designate quantity or amount. But bulk and mass mean the greater part or a large majority of something objective
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some must know medicine, but for the bulk of mankind it is sufficient to have an elementary knowledge of physiology and hygiene— Russell

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the great mass of the articles on which impost is paid is foreign luxuries— Jefferson

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Volume, however, may denote either the total amount or quantity especially of something subject to seasonal, periodic, or other fluctuations
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the volume of travel increases greatly in the vacation season

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enlarge the volume of the currency

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the volume of business has decreased recently

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or a considerable or relatively great amount
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profits are made by selling volume at market price— Wall Street Jour.

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crops will fail unless we soon get rain in volume

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Analogous words: *form, figure, shape

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bulk — 1 / bəlk/ n: a large mass in bulk 1: not divided into parts or packaged in separate units 2: in large quantities bulk 2 adj 1: being in bulk bulk shipment of wheat …   Law dictionary

  • bulk — [bʌlk] noun 1. the bulk of something the main or largest part of something: • The change in the tax system will affect the bulk of the population. • The bulk of the meetings would be held in Washington. 2. COMMERCE if you buy, sell, or make… …   Financial and business terms

  • Bulk — (b[u^]lk), n. [OE. bulke, bolke, heap; cf. Dan. bulk lump, clod, OSw. bolk crowd, mass, Icel. b?lkast to be bulky. Cf. {Boll}, n., {Bile} a boil, {Bulge}, n.] 1. Magnitude of material substance; dimensions; mass; size; as, an ox or ship of great… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bulk — can refer to:*Bulk mail *Bulk purchasing *Bulk liquids *Bulk modulus *Bulk material handling *Bulk British professional wrestler * Bulk and Skull, a pair of characters in the Power Rangers universe. * The bulk in brane cosmology is a hypothetical …   Wikipedia

  • bulk — bulk1 [bulk] n. [ME, heap, cargo < ON bulki, a heap, ship s cargo; prob. < IE base * bhel : see BALL1] 1. size, mass, or volume, esp. if great 2. the main mass or body of something; largest part or portion [the bulk of one s fortune] 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • Bülk — bezeichnet im heutigen Gebiet der Gemeinden Strande, Dänischenhagen und Schwedeneck im Dänischen Wohld, Kreis Rendsburg Eckernförde, Bundesland Schleswig Holstein: das Adlige Gut Bülk, erstmals urkundlich belegt 1304, aufgeteilt 1739 das Adlige… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • bulk — as a noun preceded by the and denoting magnitude or size, is correctly used with of and a singular noun, as in the bulk of the book / the bulk of his land / the bulk of the clergy. It should not be used in this way with ordinary plural nouns: ☒ • …   Modern English usage

  • bulk — bulk; bulk·head·ed; bulk·i·ly; bulk·i·ness; bulk·head; …   English syllables

  • bulk´i|ly — bulk|y «BUHL kee», adjective, bulk|i|er, bulk|i|est. 1. taking up much space; large: »Bulky shipments are often sent in freight cars. SYNONYM(S …   Useful english dictionary

  • bulk|y — «BUHL kee», adjective, bulk|i|er, bulk|i|est. 1. taking up much space; large: »Bulky shipments are often sent in freight cars. SYNONYM(S …   Useful english dictionary


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