quan·​ti·​ty | \ ˈkwän-tə-tē How to pronounce quantity (audio) \
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 Thus, any anomalously large quantity found in Earth’s crust would imply that there was a new supply delivered to the surface via some sort of impactor, Kring notes. Bruce Dorminey, Forbes, "Did A Comet Fragment Kill The Dinosaurs? Not Likely, Say Researchers," 28 Feb. 2021 According to the chain, menu modifications are being made in order to prioritize quality over quantity, though there's speculation that Chick-fil-A is feeling the heat from its competitors as the chicken sandwich wars continue to rage. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Chick-fil-A Nixing Bagels and Decaf Coffee from Menus Nationwide," 23 Feb. 2021 Take time to do your job to the best of your ability and choose quality over quantity. oregonlive, "Horoscope for Jan. 13, 2021: Happy birthday Patrick Dempsey; Pisces, lighten the mood," 13 Jan. 2021 There is a big conversation around a return to luxury with a focus on craftsmanship and quality over quantity. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "Fashion in 2020: Prabal Gurung on What This Year Will—and Won’t—Change," 15 Dec. 2020 Proposes a new parks master plan that would replace a decades-old way of thinking about parks, emphasizing quality over quantity. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "The Faulconer years," 11 Dec. 2020 Erving launched Human Re Sources in 2017 with the aim to focus on a small roster of up-and-coming talent, emphasizing quality over quantity. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Sony Music Acquires J. Erving's Human Re Sources Distribution and Services Company," 4 Dec. 2020 Though his advisers faced outside pressure to have Biden travel and speak out more frequently, the campaign’s ethos was quality over quantity. Author: Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey, Matt Viser, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s defeat was shaped by same instincts that boosted him in 2016," 7 Nov. 2020 Serum is basically skin care's ultimate argument for quality over quantity. Sarah Wu, Glamour, "The 23 Best Face Serums for Smoother, Glowier Skin," 3 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for quantity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for quantity

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Quantity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quantity. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce quantity (audio) \
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

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