\ ˈbəlk How to pronounce bulk (audio) 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

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

Noun 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. Adjective They sent bulk shipments of food to the country.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The bulk of calls to D.C. police were for minor assaults, people who fell, family disturbances, thefts and lost property. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, 29 July 2022 European countries are hosting more than 6 million Ukrainian refugees, the bulk of whom are in Russia, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, Spain and the United Kingdom, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, 29 July 2022 As with the gasoline-dependent model, Ford expects the bulk of F-150 Lightning sales to be in the commercial sector. Laura Burstein, Robb Report, 28 July 2022 The Micronesian government said on Tuesday that the bulk of senior officials in at least two departments are positive for COVID. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 27 July 2022 The bulk of the US $2-billion price tag is devoted to controlling the water: building a concrete trough that will prevent erosion; setting up steel gates to control the flow. Boyce Upholt, Wired, 23 July 2022 Admittedly there is some ABS plastic tucked away in these toys, but the bulk of the figure is PVC. Ollie Barder, Forbes, 19 July 2022 The bulk of the fire was quickly under control with the help of additional West Hartford Fire units and an AMR ambulance. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 15 July 2022 In the corporation’s annual report, which was published on Tuesday, it was revealed that the bulk of the income was from the license fee paid for by the public, which accounted for £3.8 billion, £50 million up from last year. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 12 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Several years of substantial capital inflows helped bulk the ESG market up to a multi-trillion dollar market, capturing $50 billion worth of net new investments in 2020, and $70 billion in 2021. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 15 June 2022 The powders are concentrated pigments of color rather than filled with preservatives, talc, and all sorts of other fillers that bulk it out unnecessarily. Essence, 21 May 2022 Finally, iPhone and iPad users can now bulk rename and delete tags in the Reminders app. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 19 Apr. 2022 Like steroids do for humans, antibiotics such as tetracycline can bulk some animals up more quickly. Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2022 Others have turned to community WeChat groups to try to bulk buy fruit and vegetables. NBC News, 6 Apr. 2022 Nonetheless, Boeing has to enter the next round of competition with the vision system meeting Air Force expectations, because small differences bulk large when both offerors are proposing state-of-the-art products. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 At the same time, several drug dealers said in interviews, domestic dealers turned to fentanyl as a cheap way to bulk out thin wares. New York Times, 20 Nov. 2021 Like, some people might bulk buy paper towels or toilet paper, or turpentine . . . New York Times, 8 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This also allows traders to place bulk orders without worrying about price fluctuations since those would be filtered out by the algorithm. Francois Botha, Forbes, 7 July 2022 Retailers and brands with reward programs can give bonus points or discounts to members who choose to buy bulk products, who use fewer bags or switch to their own reusable bags, among other energy-friendly options. Bryan Pearson, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 The new building will be off U.S. 70 at the Galloway exit just east of a new Amazon distribution center, also designed to handle bulk items. Cristina Larue, Arkansas Online, 10 June 2022 Through this process, MCi creates bulk materials like magnesium carbonates, amorphous silica, calcium carbonates in powder form. David Blackmon, Forbes, 25 June 2022 Picture a convoy of junky cars, roving the grasslands and returning strapped with an array of bulk trash – tires, couches, refrigerators – that had been illegally dumped on public lands. oregonlive, 23 June 2022 Fischer says that most chia seed bulk products have serving sizes that range from 1 tbsp, around 12g of seeds, to 3 tbsps in total. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 21 June 2022 The store isn’t just good for bulk buys or $1.50 hotdog combos. Graham Averill, Outside Online, 16 June 2022 At the same time, right-hander Luke Weaver arrived in Philadelphia and was added to the taxi squad, a move seemingly made in advance of Sunday, when he is expected to be added to the active roster to provide bulk innings in relief. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 11 June 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About bulk

Time Traveler for bulk

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near bulk



bulk density

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Statistics for bulk

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bulk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bulk. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for bulk


\ ˈbəlk How to pronounce bulk (audio) \

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 How to pronounce bulk (audio) \

Medical Definition of bulk

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


\ ˈbəlk How to pronounce bulk (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on bulk

Nglish: Translation of bulk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bulk for Arabic Speakers


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