\ ˈbəlk How to pronounce bulk (audio) also ˈbu̇lk \

Definition of bulk

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : magnitude impressed by the sheer bulk of her accomplishment
b biology : material that forms a mass in the intestine especially : fiber sense 1d need more bulk in their diet
2a : body especially : a large or corpulent human body he hauled his … bulk out of the armchair — Herman Wouk
b : an organized structure especially when viewed primarily as a mass of material the giant bulk of Mt. Katahdin— Jackson Rivers
c : a ponderous shapeless mass
3 : the main or greater part spent the bulk of his time in the office the bulk of the population
in bulk
1 : not divided into parts or packaged in separate units
2 : in large quantities buys rice in bulk


bulked; bulking; bulks

Definition of bulk (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to swell or bulge : stuff bulk out a report with lots of graphs and charts
2 : to gather into a mass or aggregate

intransitive verb

1 : swell, expand
2 : to appear as a factor : loom a consideration that bulks large in everyone's thinking



Definition of bulk (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being in large quantities or not divided into separate units : being in bulk bulk shipments of food bulk mailings
2 : of or relating to materials in bulk bulk prices

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Choose the Right Synonym for bulk


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 bulk in a Sentence

Noun We spent the bulk of the summer at the beach. Farming makes up the bulk of the country's economy. The great bulk of these people are extremely poor. Despite his bulk, he's a very fast runner. Adjective They sent bulk shipments of food to the country.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The other bulk of the money is used to cover administrative costs. Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, 23 Oct. 2021 Though the bulk of those accolades were garnered by programs now destined for the Big 12 — Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida — Aresco said his vision has not been deterred. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, 21 Oct. 2021 Blackstone also offered analysts a couple of specific rising-rate offsets on Thursday: For one, the bulk of its credit portfolio is invested in floating-rate debt, so yields rise as interest rates climb. Telis Demos, WSJ, 21 Oct. 2021 The bulk of last week’s practice was spent focusing on the first six weeks and improvements that need to be made. oregonlive, 19 Oct. 2021 Pak and Kalathil were obligated to staff the stall all day, even though the bulk of their sales were made in quick bursts at lunch and dinner. Bon Appétit, 18 Oct. 2021 The bulk of these 70-plus works were owned by Jacques and Natasha Gellman, two European ex-pats who married in 1941 and befriended Kahlo and her husband, muralist Diego Rivera, while soaking up the post-Mexican Revolution renaissance of art. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, 8 Oct. 2021 The bulk of his fortune is now derived from prime his real estate holdings in Hong Kong. Zinnia Lee, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 Part of that is because only four seniors are regular players, and the bulk of the team is comprised of relatively inexperienced juniors and sophomores who are rotating into some playing time. Steve Smith, courant.com, 7 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some have turned to substitutes like fentanyl — cheaper and more readily available than cocaine or heroin — to bulk out their wares, keeping their supply of drugs flowing, whatever the human cost. New York Times, 31 Aug. 2021 But one subject that likely will bulk large in the July seminar is how to cope with rapidly growing efforts by the Chinese Navy to find, fix and defeat undersea warships in its marginal seas. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 22 June 2021 That information can be exported, and creators can bulk message their subscribers for more precise targeting. Billboard, 24 Feb. 2021 The companies then put the genes in Chinese hamster ovary cells to bulk manufactured the antibodies, which were given to the COVID-19 patients as infusions. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, 30 Sep. 2020 Some hospitals bulk ordered rain ponchos because medical gowns are on backorder. USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2020 But the must-order item is the duck prosciutto, pistachio butter and jelly panino ($12), a deliriously funky spin on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, bulked out with fatty cured duck. Louisa Chu, chicagotribune.com, 6 Dec. 2019 It can be added to meat dishes like kibbeh and meatloaf to boost nutrition and bulk them up. Katie Workman, NBC News, 12 Mar. 2020 His remarks were made as a bulked-up Bristol-Myers will now attempt to blend the product portfolios and R&D machines that the two companies possess. Ed Silverman, STAT, 21 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective On March 22, 2014, the bulk carrier M/V Summer Wind collided with the oil tank-barge Kirby 27706. Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2021 The store also is limiting bulk purchases of popular items like Clorox wipes, according to an administrative staff person. Greg Lamm, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Sep. 2021 Egypt's Suez Canal got a little clogged up Thursday when a bulk carrier vessel became wedged and ran aground, briefly blocking traffic in one lane of the crucial global waterway, Egyptian authorities said. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2021 Then fill it with a few of these, my favorite bulk food storage containers. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, 26 Feb. 2021 One of the operation’s recent busts in Pleasant Grove resulted in the seizure of 14 firearms, bulk quantities of cocaine and about $1.8 million in cash stored in trash bags in a house, officials said. Kelli Smith, Dallas News, 16 Sep. 2021 On a recent muggy Friday morning, two dozen officers and crew members aboard the Blue Alexandra, a bulk carrier picking up scrap metal in Everett, rolled up their sleeves for shots in the officers’ mess. BostonGlobe.com, 24 Aug. 2021 So for Alaskans who love the bulk buying, that’s another convenient bonus. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Apr. 2021 Volunteers needed through out the year for various shifts for repacking and labeling bulk foods. Roxanne De La Rosa, The Arizona Republic, 6 Sep. 2021

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1529, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1693, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bulk

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

Middle English, heap, bulk, from Old Norse bulki cargo

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Time Traveler for bulk

Time Traveler

The first known use of bulk was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near bulk



bulk density

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Statistics for bulk

Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bulk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bulk. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for bulk



English Language Learners Definition of bulk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: most of something : the largest part of something
: the large size of someone or something



English Language Learners Definition of bulk (Entry 3 of 2)

: of or relating to things that are sent or sold in large amounts


\ ˈbəlk How to pronounce bulk (audio) \

Kids Definition of bulk

1 : greatness of size or volume The chair is hard to move because of its bulk.
2 : the largest or chief part I've already finished the bulk of my homework.
in bulk
: in large amounts The restaurant buys rice in bulk.


\ ˈbəlk How to pronounce bulk (audio) \

Medical Definition of bulk

: material (as indigestible fibrous residues of food) that forms a mass in the intestine especially : fiber sense 2

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\ ˈbəlk How to pronounce bulk (audio) \

Legal Definition of bulk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large mass
in bulk
1 : not divided into parts or packaged in separate units
2 : in large quantities



Legal Definition of bulk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : being in bulk bulk shipment of wheat bulk foods
2 : of or relating to materials in bulk bulk buyer

More from Merriam-Webster on bulk

Nglish: Translation of bulk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bulk for Arabic Speakers


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