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 Jordan decided early on to go for quality over quantity. Kim Westerman, Forbes, 5 June 2021 When quality-over-quantity rap label Top Dawg Entertainment teased a new release last week, most fans’ minds went right to the label’s heaviest hitters, Kendrick Lamar and SZA. Justin Curto, Vulture, 7 May 2021 Without a second-round pick, the safe bet is that Spielman spends some of his middle-round draft capital to move into Round 2, knowing quality over quantity is a necessary objective for a regime that very well could be facing an ultimatum season. Star Tribune, 28 Apr. 2021 Dallas resident Brandon Wu is the embodiment of quality over quantity so far this season. Scott Bell, Dallas News, 21 Apr. 2021 Just like the 2021 class would’ve once had, the 2022 class would have an argument of quality over quantity in its fight to be looked at as the best class of all time on Signing Day in this perfect scenario. Stephen Means, cleveland, 8 Apr. 2021 Note: When strawberries hit the market (soon!), substitute half the quantity of the rhubarb for the strawberries and reduce the amount of honey to taste. Star Tribune, 19 May 2021 In the end, all of these things are here in support of data, of ideas and of the most potent quantity in the universe: information. Scientific American, 13 May 2021 With the Giants’ offense something of an unknown quantity most days, Logan Webb stepped right up and helped himself. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 Apr. 2021

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

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Quantity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quantity. Accessed 13 Jun. 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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