\ ˈbəlk also ˈbu̇lk \

Definition of bulk

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : magnitude impressed by the sheer bulk of her accomplishment
b biology : material that forms a mass in the intestine especially : fiber sense 1d need more bulk in their diet
2a : body especially : a large or corpulent human body he hauled his … bulk out of the armchair — Herman Wouk
b : an organized structure especially when viewed primarily as a mass of material the giant bulk of Mt. Katahdin— Jackson Rivers
c : a ponderous shapeless mass
3 : the main or greater part spent the bulk of his time in the office the bulk of the population
in bulk
1 : not divided into parts or packaged in separate units
2 : in large quantities buys rice in bulk


bulked; bulking; bulks

Definition of bulk (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to swell or bulge : stuff bulk out a report with lots of graphs and charts
2 : to gather into a mass or aggregate

intransitive verb

1 : swell, expand
2 : to appear as a factor : loom a consideration that bulks large in everyone's thinking



Definition of bulk (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being in large quantities or not divided into separate units : being in bulk bulk shipments of food bulk mailings
2 : of or relating to materials in bulk bulk prices

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Synonyms & Antonyms for bulk

Synonyms: Noun

generality, lion's share, majority, mass, preponderance

Antonyms: Noun


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Choose the Right Synonym for bulk


bulk, mass, volume mean the aggregate that forms a body or unit. bulk implies an aggregate that is impressively large, heavy, or numerous. the darkened bulk of the skyscrapers mass suggests an aggregate made by piling together things of the same kind. a mass of boulders volume applies to an aggregate without shape or outline and capable of flowing or fluctuating. a tremendous volume of water

Examples of bulk in a Sentence


We spent the bulk of the summer at the beach. Farming makes up the bulk of the country's economy. The great bulk of these people are extremely poor. Despite his bulk, he's a very fast runner.


They sent bulk shipments of food to the country.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The bulk of hiring will be around mid-October through mid-November, with a hiring rate of 200 flexible workers per week. Temi Adebowale, House Beautiful, "Williams-Sonoma Is Hiring For Thousands Of Work-From-Home Positions," 28 Aug. 2018 Taking trips to Amish country for bulk buys at the Ashery [Country Store] and just being simple with good ingredients. Debbi Snook, cleveland.com, "Cornmeal mush fried in bacon fat from Ben Bebenroth (recipe)," 9 May 2018 For the bulk of his professional life, Greg Pence has largely immersed himself in business and left it to his younger brother to climb the political ladder. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "What's in a name? For Greg Pence, the VP's brother, it could be a seat in Congress," 30 Apr. 2018 But while the trip to the internet is the introduction, the bulk of the 11-minute VR experience is actually a series of mini-games. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Void’s Ralph Breaks VR puts players inside a giant interactive Disney movie," 21 Nov. 2018 The single best reason to graduate a moonshot is that the bulk of the risk going forward is execution. Douglas Macmillan, WSJ, "Astro Teller, ‘Captain of Moonshots’ at Alphabet’s X, Is on a Roll," 23 Oct. 2018 That money is sliced into thirds with the bulk going to the California Teachers Assn. Andrew J. Campa, latimes.com, "Local unions react to Janus ruling with uncertainty, hope," 11 July 2018 But the government has to service the world’s largest national debt and the bulk of public service spending goes to the elderly. Yoshiaki Nohara, Bloomberg.com, "In One of the World’s Richest Countries, Most Single Mothers Live in Poverty," 24 June 2018 But today, with the bulk of its factory jobs gone, the city of 150,000 is better known for ignominy. Ben Austen, The New Republic, "How one American city chose to tackle crime, combat racism, and reckon with the legacy of police brutality," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And the extensions did more than just bulk the hair up. Sophia Panych, Allure, "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2018: Why Charlotte Tilbury Didn't Use Highlighter on the Angels," 8 Nov. 2018 YouTube is also adding a tool to let creators bulk add or remove non-skippable ads and to track audience engagement and revenue flow from videos that include those types of ads. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "YouTube expands non-skippable ads to more creators," 24 Aug. 2018 Three years later, a bulked-up Bonds hit 73 with the Giants to set a record that still stands. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Sammy Sosa prolonging his exile from Wrigley Field," 28 June 2018 The deal would combine the nation's third- and fourth-largest wireless companies and bulk them up to a similar size to Verizon and AT&T, the industry giants. Mae Anderson, chicagotribune.com, "After AT&T-Time Warner win, is Comcast-Fox a done deal?," 13 June 2018 The deal would combine the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless companies and bulk them up to a similar size to Verizon and AT&T, the industry giants. Washington Post, "Comcast offer for Fox expected after favorable AT&T ruling," 12 June 2018 Blending banana to the chocolate mix is good too to bulk it up without adding a lot of calories. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Danica Patrick shares her favorite dessert recipes, plus which one Aaron Rodgers loves," 21 June 2018 Zack Lanphier, who was ranger Zack del Pollo, is nearly unrecognizable as Burt, a mustachioed and bulked-up convict. Donna Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "Tundra creator back with second feature-length film, ‘Sudsy Slim Rides Again’," 21 June 2018 The government did not appear to prove its case that a bulked-up AT&T would harm consumers and stifle competition. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "As Disney Moves Forward With Fox, Comcast Continues Plotting," 20 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Refrain from buying too many groceries, especially bulk orders, from here on out. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Follow This Weekly Moving Checklist for a Smooth, Stress-Free Transition," 5 Dec. 2018 In addition, to prevent bulk orders being distributed to minors, Juul will restrict customers to buying just 15 pod packages a month. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Here’s Everything You Need To Know About the Juul Flavor Ban," 15 Nov. 2018 But owners are using their cars a lot more when compared to four-seat Ferraris of the past, and what's practical for carrying bulk household goods is also practical for a week-long driving holiday. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The GTC4Lusso T is a Ferrari you really could drive every day," 23 July 2018 But in the digital world framed by Google, ads are increasingly bought in real time using auction processes that don’t reward bulk buying. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Buying Ads in the Age Of Google," 14 Dec. 2018 Its current investments include bulk-freight shipping company Rand Logistics, aviation-services provider Vertex Aerospace and Gerber Technology, which makes equipment for apparel manufacturers. Dana Mattioli, WSJ, "General Electric to Sell LED Business to American Industrial Partners," 6 Nov. 2018 Accordingly, when engaging in SIGINT collection, the Agency should conduct targeted SIGINT collection activities rather than bulk SIGINT collection activities when practicable. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "The Snowden Legacy, part one: What’s changed, really?," 21 Nov. 2018 Here’s a Federal Power Commission study from 1967 (not long after the November 1965 blackout) that recommends greater coordination of bulk power resources over a larger area. David Roberts, Vox, "A massive new study confirms a national energy grid would pay for itself.," 3 Aug. 2018 Because the organic chemistry industry wasn’t yet developed in the Soviet Union, these factories used a lot of natural components to create bulk personal-care items. Niree Noel, Allure, "The Evolution of Armenia’s Beauty Industry, According to Women Who Witnessed It," 27 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bulk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bulk


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1529, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1693, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bulk

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

Middle English, heap, bulk, from Old Norse bulki cargo

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Learn More about bulk

Dictionary Entries near bulk





bulk density


bulk eraser

Statistics for bulk

Last Updated

25 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bulk

The first known use of bulk was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for bulk



English Language Learners Definition of bulk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

the bulk : most of something : the largest part of something

: the large size of someone or something



English Language Learners Definition of bulk (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to things that are sent or sold in large amounts


\ ˈbəlk \

Kids Definition of bulk

1 : greatness of size or volume The chair is hard to move because of its bulk.
2 : the largest or chief part I've already finished the bulk of my homework.
in bulk
: in large amounts The restaurant buys rice in bulk.


\ ˈbəlk \

Medical Definition of bulk

: material (as indigestible fibrous residues of food) that forms a mass in the intestine especially : fiber sense 2

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\ ˈbəlk \

Legal Definition of bulk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large mass
in bulk
1 : not divided into parts or packaged in separate units
2 : in large quantities



Legal Definition of bulk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : being in bulk bulk shipment of wheat bulk foods
2 : of or relating to materials in bulk bulk buyer

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More from Merriam-Webster on bulk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bulk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bulk

Spanish Central: Translation of bulk

Nglish: Translation of bulk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bulk for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bulk

What made you want to look up bulk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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