quantity

noun

quan·​ti·​ty ˈkwän-tə-tē How to pronounce quantity (audio)
plural quantities
1
a
: 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 luckH. E. Putsch
2
a
: 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 generalTom Wicker
3
a
: 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The quality and quantity of this scrub far surpassed its low price tag. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 16 Feb. 2024 Garden-style apartments, typically quicker to develop when compared to mid-rise and high-rise buildings, were constructed in lower quantities. Brad Hunter, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Estrogen and other hormones that women produce in higher quantities compared to men might also play a role. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 15 Feb. 2024 At a news conference on Thursday, Mr. Faury emphasized the need to prioritize quality and safety over quantity, even as the company is working to ramp up production. Liz Alderman, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2024 Some Sour Patch Kids Valentine's Day editions cost much more than the regular versions of the candy for roughly the same quantity. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, 13 Feb. 2024 The first 10 years of Johnson’s sentence come without the possibility of parole because the charge of possession of large drug quantities carries a mandatory minimum punishment of five years behind bars without the chance of release. Alex Mann, Baltimore Sun, 13 Feb. 2024 As most companies realize, quantity doesn’t lend itself to quality. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Feb. 2024 For quantities exceeding that amount, travelers need to show authorization from Cuba’s Central Bank. Nora Gámez Torres, Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quantity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near quantity

Cite this Entry

“Quantity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quantity. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

quantity

noun
quan·​ti·​ty ˈkwän(t)-ət-ē How to pronounce quantity (audio)
plural quantities
1
a
: an amount or number that is not fixed
b
: a great amount or number
buys food in quantity
2
a
: the character of something that makes it possible to measure or number it
b
: something on which a mathematical operation can be performed
multiply the quantity x by y
Etymology

Middle English quantite "amount," from early French quantité (same meaning), derived from Latin quantus "how much?, how large?"

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