1 of 3


: the degree of loudness or the intensity of a sound
also : loudness
: the amount of space occupied by a three-dimensional object as measured in cubic units (such as quarts or liters) : cubic capacity see Metric System Table, Weights and Measures Table
: amount
also : bulk, mass
: a considerable quantity
: the amount of a substance occupying a particular volume
: mass or the representation of mass in art or architecture
: a series of printed sheets bound typically in book form : book
: a series of issues of a periodical
volumed adjective
volume table


2 of 3


volumed; voluming

transitive verb

: to send or give out in volume

intransitive verb

: to roll or rise in volume


3 of 3


: involving large quantities
volume sales
Choose the Right Synonym for volume

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 volume in a Sentence

Noun The volume is too loud. Can you turn the volume up? playing music at full volume She fiddled with the volume on the stereo. a high volume of sales Huge volumes of park visitors come through every weekend. an increase in traffic volume The box has a volume of three cubic meters. We measure the items by weight, not by volume. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Get volume and clarity with this product while saving ​​41 percent off. Rudie Obias, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Nov. 2023 Like the original sonification, the music’s volume corresponds to brightness in the image. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Nov. 2023 The dual-driver system, tweeter, and subwoofer work together to deliver bold bass and clear highs (with zero distortion at high volume). Brenda Stolyar, WIRED, 25 Nov. 2023 Friday’s trading session was shorter than usual due to the Thanksgiving holiday, with relatively light trading volume. Charley Grant, WSJ, 24 Nov. 2023 Your campground is about to get a major upgrade thanks to the sheer volume of unbeatable prices available at Amazon right now on your favorite gear from spacious tents to the comfiest sleeping pad from Powerlix which is currently on sale for $26. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 23 Nov. 2023 Who to start: AJ Dillon (GB) has flex appeal in deeper leagues based on volume — Dillon has double-digit touches in nine of 10 games this season. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Nov. 2023 According to these experiments, cats do seem to remember the unique pitch, timbre, and volume of their owner’s voice. Alisa Bowman, Discover Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 Tip: Don’t try to make meringues on a very humid or damp day; the egg whites won’t whip up to their full volume. Hugh Garvey, Sunset Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin volumen roll, scroll, from volvere to roll — more at wallow entry 1

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a


1815, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


circa 1945, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near volume

Cite this Entry

“Volume.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/volume. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: one of a series of books forming a complete work or collection
the fifth volume of an encyclopedia
: an amount of space as measured in cubic units
the volume of a container
: a large amount : mass
volumes of smoke
a volume of criticism poured in
: the degree of loudness of a sound
turn up the volume


Middle English volume "a book, a scroll of papyrus," from early French (same meaning), from Latin volumen "roll, scroll," from volvere "to roll" — related to revolve

Word Origin
The earliest books were written on long rolls made from a plant called papyrus. The Roman name for such a roll was volumen, a word which came from the verb volvere, meaning "to roll." Later, books were made of a material called parchment, which, unlike papyrus, could be folded and bound together. This advance made it unnecessary to use rolls anymore. The French word volume, which came from the Latin volumen, was originally used to refer to papyrus rolls but later was used for bound books as well. The French word was borrowed into English in the 14th century. By the 16th century, volume had also come to mean "the size (of a book)." This meaning led to a more general sense, "the quantity or amount (of anything)." In the 19th century, volume acquired still another meaning, "the strength or loudness of a sound."

Medical Definition


: the amount of space occupied by a three-dimensional figure as measured in cubic units (as inches, quarts, or centimeters) : cubic capacity
: the amount of a substance occupying a particular volume

More from Merriam-Webster on volume

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