bulk

1 of 3

noun

ˈbəlk How to pronounce bulk (audio)
 also  ˈbu̇lk
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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. KatahdinJackson 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

bulk

2 of 3

verb

bulked; bulking; bulks

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

bulk

3 of 3

adjective

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
Phrases
in bulk
1
: not divided into parts or packaged in separate units
2
: in large quantities
buys rice in bulk
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
Wholesale and warehouse clubs are different from supermarkets, often allowing shoppers to buy products in bulk to keep prices lower. Kimberly Cataudella Tutuska, Miami Herald, 3 Apr. 2024 In audit after audit of postal facilities from New York to Los Angeles, the agency's independent inspectors documented workers and supervisors failing to follow basic, long-standing regulations meant to protect the keys — and to prevent one easy way thieves are stealing Americans' mail in bulk. Nick Devlin, CBS News, 2 Apr. 2024 The lemonade stand lost some of its practical value over time—Americans can now buy lemonade in bulk at any supermarket or convenience store. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Mar. 2024 Its retail formats range from warehouse-like Trial Supercenters, where customers can buy in bulk, to smaller convenience stores called Trial Go. Catherine Wang, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Prior to the pandemic, both shops would order ice cream in bulk and split the delicacy. Ishani Desai, Sacramento Bee, 27 Mar. 2024 Make this dressing in bulk, and keep it in your weekly salad rotation. Ivy Odom, Southern Living, 25 Mar. 2024 Fortunately, these are sold in bulk for anglers who go through a ton of them. David A. Rose, Field & Stream, 20 Mar. 2024 The goal is to tap into the economic benefits that come with cooperation – to buy in bulk, buy together, and buy European – much as the EU did during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Besch said in a discussion at the Brookings Institution last week. Anna Mulrine Grobe, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Mar. 2024
Verb
The two streaming services, Max/Discovery+ (95 million global subscribers) and Paramount+ (63 million subs), are seen as subscale compared to the offerings from Netflix (247 million subscribers) or Disney+ (105 million core subs), with a merger helping to bulk them up. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Dec. 2023 Harris hasn’t strayed too far off the Halloween path, bulking her filmography with appearances in scary movies like See No Evil (2014) and Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn (2015) and portraying a member of the Manson family cult in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019). Sophie T. Stern, Peoplemag, 18 Oct. 2023 Even professional bodybuilders are always cutting and then bulking. Men's Health, 6 June 2023 After bulking itself up when the U.K. was in Europe aiming to become part of the biggest exchange in the EU, after Brexit the exchange has shrunk, selling off the Italian Stock Exchange and buying for a huge sum a chunk of the old Reuters. Clem Chambers, Forbes, 4 May 2023 But insoluble fiber, the type that turns to gel when mixed with liquid, actually bulks your stools and helps prevent diarrhea, Cassell says. Perri O. Blumberg, Men's Health, 15 Mar. 2023 So the media companies need to bulk out. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Feb. 2022 Heavy weights will bulk you up. Star Tribune, 22 Jan. 2021 Bolden expects the Buckeyes to bulk the young hammer up to further enhance his physical game. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, 21 Dec. 2022
Adjective
Furthermore, the same new rules requiring proper domain authentication from bulk senders will increase email security for Gmail users. Davey Winder, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 Also get 15% off online gift card purchases Feb. 11-18 (good for retail plastic and egift card purchases and reloads made online or egift card purchases made using Apple Pay in Messages only; offer not valid in cafe, on bulk gift card purchases, or purchases from third parties). Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024 Almeida admitted making trips to Mexico to get cash to buy bulk ammunition, including bullets with tracer capability. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, 23 Feb. 2024 Snag deals on bulk grocery and household items, as well as electronics, clothes, and appliances. Stack Commerce, Popular Science, 21 Feb. 2024 Howard and Enlow were both competing for the final spot in the starting rotation or a bulk role in the bullpen, but the moves put Mason Black, Daulton Jefferies and Landen Roupp in position to potentially seize those jobs. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 23 Mar. 2024 One method, suggested by WIRED senior writer Lily Hay Newman, is to curate your bulk deletions by email address. Boone Ashworth Lauren Goode, WIRED, 17 Mar. 2024 Hugo van der Goes, the vice president for cocoa at Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest maker of bulk chocolate, said the shortfall could reach 500,000 metric tons, Bloomberg reported. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, 12 Mar. 2024 First, Costco sold gold bars to its members who were looking to invest in more than bulk household purchases. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 9 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bulk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

circa 1529, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1693, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near bulk

Cite this Entry

“Bulk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bulk. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

bulk

1 of 3 noun
1
: greatness of size or mass : volume
2
: a large body or mass
3
: the main or greater part
did the bulk of the work
4

bulk

2 of 3 verb
1
: to cause to swell or bulge
2
: to appear as a consideration
an issue that bulks large in her mind

bulk

3 of 3 adjective
: being in bulk
bulk foods

Medical Definition

bulk

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

Legal Definition

bulk

1 of 2 noun
: a large mass

bulk

2 of 2 adjective
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

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