\ 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

The consulting firm says self-driving cars will cost more than conventional ones but will drastically cut labor costs, which account for the bulk of delivery expenses. Mike Colias, WSJ, "Tonight’s Dinner? In a Cooler-Sized Robot That Knows Where You Live," 11 Mar. 2019 Greenlight’s flagship fund still makes up the bulk of the firm’s money, and now manages about $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Rachael Levy, WSJ, "Einhorn’s Greenlight Hit by Investor Redemptions," 23 Jan. 2019 The bulk of calls purported to be about insurance or debt collection, according to the report. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Spam calls grew 300 percent worldwide in 2018, according to Truecaller," 18 Dec. 2018 Registered Republicans comprise the bulk of all voters in the state. Christina A. Cassidy, The Seattle Times, "Unaffiliated voters key to outcome of Kansas’ GOP primary," 14 Aug. 2018 This infusion of young talent, largely concentrated at the Single-A and Double-A levels of the minor leagues, comprises the bulk of the organization’s plan to be playoff contenders. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Four Dodgers pitchers no-hit Padres in Mexico," 4 May 2018 Sinkers and cutters comprise the bulk of his repertoire. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros return to standard operating procedure in win over Mariners," 19 Apr. 2018 The runaway trade imbalance, which sent Pakistan to the IMF, is partly down to China, with the bulk of Pakistan’s nonfuel imports coming from there. Saeed Shah, WSJ, "Pakistan Requests IMF Bailout Talks," 8 Oct. 2018 City Furniture employs 1,600 people, with the bulk in South Florida at its headquarters, warehouse and stores that include some City Furniture/Ashley Furniture combinations. Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun-Sentinel.com, "City Furniture bringing waterbeds back," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Tiny versions of succulents may be adorable, but buying them in Costco's signature bulk style fashion is an entirely new addition to the plant game. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "PSA: Costco Is Selling Entire Succulent Gardens for $20," 13 Feb. 2019 In another public records case, a US district court judge ruled that the FCC must disclose email addresses that were used to submit bulk comments in the net neutrality repeal proceeding. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "“What is the FCC hiding?” Pai still won’t release net neutrality server logs," 3 Dec. 2018 Stick with bagged or bulk product purchased from home improvement stores or nurseries. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "How Much Mulch Do I Need? Here's the Easiest Way to Find Out," 6 Feb. 2019 The reality is that dangerous misogynists exist in every country, but only America gives them easy access to arsenals and bulk ammunition. Shannon Watts, Vogue, "Toxic Masculinity Is Killing Us," 31 Jan. 2019 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

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

20 Mar 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 corrupt or become corrupted

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