quan·ti·ty | \ˈkwän-tə-tē \
plural quantities

Definition of quantity 

1a : an indefinite amount or number

b : a determinate or estimated amount

c : total amount or number

d : a considerable amount or number often used in plural generous quantities of luck— H. E. Putsch

2a : the aspect in which a thing is measurable in terms of greater, less, or equal or of increasing or decreasing magnitude

b : the subject of a mathematical operation

c : an individual considered with respect to a given situation an unknown quantity … as attorney general— Tom Wicker

3a : duration and intensity of speech sounds as distinct from their individual quality or phonemic character specifically : the relative length or brevity of a prosodic syllable in some languages (such as Greek and Latin)

b : the relative duration or time length of a speech sound or sound sequence

4 : the character of a logical proposition as being universal, particular, or singular

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Examples of quantity in a Sentence

The wine is made in small quantities. The boss is worried about quantity as well as quality. The family buys food in quantity.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In its announcement on Monday, the NDRC said householders would be charged according to the quantity and nature of their garbage. Michael Holtz, The Christian Science Monitor, "Beijing gets tough on trash," 5 July 2018 The limited quantity means the prized fillets are going for $30 to $35 a pound in stores. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, "King salmon arrives for a short, expensive stint in Bay Area markets and restaurants," 3 May 2018 Each model is close to $1,000 off the original price, and quantities available are much higher than the Samsung options above. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "This weekend’s best deals make the latest TVs and games more affordable," 7 July 2018 Bouchet’s work relies on considering the statistics of the large-scale flows, which exchange energy and other quantities in a balance with their environment. Joshua Sokol, WIRED, "Flattened Fluids Help Scientists Understand Oceans and Atmospheres," 7 July 2018 The world’s newest nuclear power, North Korea, is still a mystery with an unknown quantity of nuclear weapons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. and Russia Are Shrinking Their Nuclear Arsenals—But China Isn't," 19 June 2018 But generally, exchanging draft quality for quantity is a better strategy in the NFL than the NBA. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "How about Seth Curry as a Charlotte Hornet? Would Steph’s brother help hometown team?," 6 June 2018 For such a brief statement, this contains an impressive quantity of evasions. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Unable to Remember Words to ‘God Bless America’ at Fake Fan Rally," 5 June 2018 If quantity factors with quality, game composer Gordy Haab may have an edge. Paula Parisi, Billboard, "As Composer Gordy Haab Games the 'Star Wars' Universe, Could He Be John Williams' Heir Apparent?," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quantity.' 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 quantity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for quantity

Middle English quantite, from Anglo-French quantité, from Latin quantitat-, quantitas, from quantus how much, how large; akin to Latin quam how, as, quando when, qui who — more at who

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Statistics for quantity

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for quantity

The first known use of quantity was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for quantity



English Language Learners Definition of quantity

: an amount or number of something

: a large amount or number of something


quan·ti·ty | \ˈkwän-tə-tē \
plural quantities

Kids Definition of quantity

1 : amount entry 2, number There's a small quantity of fuel left.

2 : a large number or amount quantities of money We buy food in quantity.

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Comments on quantity

What made you want to look up quantity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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