\ 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

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

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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Carolina wins this handily and takes care of the bulk of the scoring. Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Carolina Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings odds, picks and best bets," 24 Nov. 2019 Once a drug is prequalified it can be purchased in bulk by international agencies at lower prices. NBC News, "With rise in patients dying from rationing insulin, U.N. tries a new solution," 15 Nov. 2019 Thug’s former leader So Much Fun rises 10-7 with 35,000 equivalent album units earned (up 23%), with SEA units powering the bulk of the set’s week (34,000; up 22%). Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "Post Malone's 'Hollywood's Bleeding' Earns Honor Atop Billboard 200 Not Achieved In Over a Year," 10 Nov. 2019 Stats sheet: Clay-Chalkville running back Lazarius Hinkle had 71 total yards, with the bulk (65) in the second half. al, "No. 9 Clay-Chalkville shuts out No. 7 Helena in top-10 playoff showdown," 9 Nov. 2019 But the likely scenario is the bulk of the first-team squad heads to Qatar, and a predominantly young group of players, many of whom have already played in the previous rounds of the Carabao Cup, will face Villa. SI.com, "Liverpool to Play Two Games in 24 Hours as Date for Carabao Cup Clash With Aston Villa Is Confirmed," 5 Nov. 2019 Several human milk oligosaccharides are now commercially available, their synthesis in bulk made possible by genetic engineering of yeast and bacteria. Alice Callahan, Smithsonian, "In Pursuit of a Better Baby Formula," 25 Oct. 2019 Most of its bulk consists of a highly specialized syntactic foam—made of tiny ceramic spheres suspended in polymer resin—the only material able to provide buoyancy while remaining uncrushable. Susan Casey, Outside Online, "One Man's Wild Quest to Reach the Bottom of Every Ocean," 22 Oct. 2019 To the good old days when drinks weren’t made in bulk but handcrafted to perfection. orlandosentinel.com, "2019 Orlando Sentinel Best Bets: Dining & Restaurants winners," 5 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb His remarks were made as a bulked-up Bristol-Myers will now attempt to blend the product portfolios and R&D machines that the two companies possess. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Having gobbled up Celgene, the Bristol-Myers CEO ducks questions about his key rival," 21 Nov. 2019 That means that the agricultural industry, when using these antibiotics as bulking agents, is allowing mass numbers of drug-resistant bacteria to become part of our food chain. K.n.c., The Economist, "How what’s in our heads changes what’s in the world," 15 Nov. 2019 To the west, the ice sheet bulked vast and gray behind the peaks. Paul Voosen, Science Magazine, "A project to monitor every aspect of a fast-shrinking glacier could hold an answer to an urgent question: How fast will seas rise?," 10 Oct. 2019 The 6-foot-5 redshirt sophomore entered preseason camp with the confidence of his coaches, the respect of his teammates, a bulked-up frame and determination to earn the right to lead the offense. Chaunte'l Powell, orlandosentinel.com, "FSU names James Blackman Seminoles’ starting quarterback," 25 Aug. 2019 Fan cucumbers onto a plate before piling up a mound of Indonesian Style Rice (Nasi Goreng), above, for texture and to bulk out a meal. Kari Sonde, Washington Post, "Tips and recipes to make the most of your cucumbers," 18 July 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Start with Isaacson, then add bulk down low in senior forward/center Mac Quast. Gregg Voss, chicagotribune.com, "Pioneer Press 2019-20 boys basketball preview: West Suburban Silver," 21 Nov. 2019 Solar power: Interested in joining with others to buy bulk solar power? Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Producing healthy meals is all in the family at Altenheim: Strong Points," 21 Nov. 2019 One provision would reauthorize for 90 days a system shut down earlier this year that permitted the National Security Agency to access and analyze bulk logs of Americans’ domestic phone logs. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, "House Moves to Stave Off Another Government Shutdown," 20 Nov. 2019 All single-family houses in Phoenix pay a $26.80 monthly fee, which includes weekly curbside trash and recycling pickup, in addition to bulk trash pickup four times a year and some other disposal services. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Phoenix City Council to consider trash fee hike of up to $6.40 per month," 14 Nov. 2019 The goal, according to the bill, is to encourage the use of bulk dispensers of personal care products in order to reduce plastic waste and lower operating costs. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "California Hotels Are Now Banned from Giving Guests Small Plastic Bottles," 10 Oct. 2019 The recall applies to bulk ground beef and other products made from ground beef, including meatballs, meatloaf and hamburger patties. Mike Rogoway, oregonlive, "New Seasons recalls ground beef over E. Coli contamination, three Oregon illnesses," 10 Nov. 2019 One method, suggested by WIRED’s own Lily Hay Newman, is to curate your bulk deletions by email address. Wired, "How to Free Up Space in Gmail," 31 Oct. 2019 In addition, the evidence showed that at least four bulk cash payments were made to Balagia in amounts ranging from approximately $70,000 to $120,000. Guillermo Contreras, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio’s ‘DWI Dude’ found guilty of shaking down big-time drug traffickers," 29 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for bulk

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bulk

Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bulk.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bulked. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for bulk


How to pronounce bulk (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bulk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bulk

Spanish Central: Translation of bulk

Nglish: Translation of bulk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bulk for Arabic Speakers

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