\ ˈbəlk also ˈbu̇lk How to pronounce bulk (audio) \

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

As Forbes reports, Airbnb led a $160 million round of funding into hospitality startup Lyric, which leases apartments in bulk and then rents them out like hotel rooms. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "New hotel and homesharing hybrid creates investment vehicle for Airbnb," 2 July 2019 Purdue’s reliance on OxyContin for the bulk of revenue is the result of business decisions made by the company, whose board for decades included members of the Sackler family. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, "At Purdue Pharma, Business Slumps as Opioid Lawsuits Mount," 30 June 2019 The city footed the bill for $14 million of exterior work and some interior demolition, while the state chipped in $56 million for the bulk of interior work on the building. Dan Singer, Dallas News, "Dallas' old city hall has been transformed inside for UNT Dallas' law school," 27 June 2019 To be clear, Norquist still speaks for the bulk of the conservative movement’s most active members, including most of its legislators. David Roberts, Vox, "Frank Luntz vs. Grover Norquist: the GOP’s climate change dilemma in a nutshell," 21 June 2019 Add the kale by handfuls, stirring, and cook until reduced in bulk by half. Daniel Neman, Twin Cities, "Four recipes to celebrate the in-season, in-the-moment kale," 20 June 2019 In May, California’s Department of Finance denied the city’s request to use former redevelopment bond proceeds to pay for a bulk of the project. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Cars still can’t cross Park Boulevard near Petco Park. This $21M check should change that," 18 June 2019 The Raptors were going to stifle Curry, turning the Warriors into a two-dimensional team having to depend on Klay Thompson for a bulk of the scoring. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, "Game 6 had drama, emotion, and thrills, and now the Raptors are NBA champs," 14 June 2019 Andrew Kittredge, a first-timer, pitched two shutout innings before giving way to bulk-innings pitcher Jalen Beeks. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "A’s can’t deliver a happy ending to a rough day, lose to Rays," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Americans are increasingly picking up tops and trousers from a retailer better known for its no-frills warehouses and bulk everything. Washington Post, "Costco quietly becomes a destination for clothes," 28 June 2019 Dark rocks bulked silent and swift past the window, and the wheels clocked away like the cogs of a gigantic clock. Sylvia Plath, WSJ, "Sylvia Plath’s Lost Story, ‘Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom’: An Excerpt," 29 Dec. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Mesa hasn't had free bulk trash pickup since 1995, said Mariano Reyes, a city spokeswoman. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "Want bulk trash pickup? You'll have to pay in these 2 metro Phoenix cities," 8 July 2019 There will be no bulk trash pickup by the city July 4. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com, "What’s open, what’s closed in Carroll County for Fourth of July — plus the day after," 3 July 2019 Large scrap metal, although small sections can be disposed of with bulk waste collection. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "West University Place seeks new recycling option for residents," 6 June 2019 Properly priced, the bulk mail would either go away, reducing the personnel and equipment demands on the post office, or actually pay for the services used. WSJ, "More Realistic Bulk-Mail Pricing Would Help USPS," 1 May 2018 Peruse bins of obscure vinyl at , and let your nose be the guide at Wild Terra, a community apothecary offering bulk herbs, teas and spices. Makeda Easter, latimes.com, "Four Hours: Bowling, snacking and shopping in Highland Park," 21 June 2019 The city also suspended its bulk pickup of non-brush items in July to prioritize storm debris. Hayat Norimine, Dallas News, "Weeks after storm, Dallas officials plow through tons of brush," 24 June 2019 There have been stretch bigs and bulk rebounders, lob threats and defensive anchors, but none that were all of the above and then some. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "After Year of Turmoil, Lakers Look Ready to Contend," 15 June 2019 Land use conflicts Trails, parks and other public amenities can cause conflicts, for example, when truckers carrying bulk cargo share streets with bicyclists and pedestrians. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Burning River legacy: Towpath Trail spurs rediscovery of Cuyahoga Valley, erasing east-west divide," 9 June 2019

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

10 Jul 2019

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)

: 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 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

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\ 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

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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).


to complain fretfully

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