Definition of quantity in English:



  • 1The amount or number of a material or abstract thing not usually estimated by spatial measurement.

    ‘the quantity and quality of the fruit can be controlled’
    • ‘The quantity of building material must be able to withstand the expected traffic.’
    • ‘The groups did not differ significantly with respect to any of the measures of semen quantity and quality.’
    • ‘We estimated the total quantity of protein in the gland by using the BioRad color photometric method.’
    • ‘Whether wanting is measured in quality or quantity depends entirely on the individuals concerned.’
    • ‘The survey also measured levels of air pollution, quality and quantity of drinking water and sewage.’
    • ‘However, this quantity cannot be directly estimated.’
    • ‘The company, over the last few years, had shifted its focus from quantity and volumes to quality and design.’
    • ‘In Scotland, it is quality not quantity that has to count.’
    • ‘If scholarship is measured by quantity, quality is sacrificed.’
    • ‘The 1920s brought the great bull market in which the value and quantity of stocks traded soared.’
    • ‘However, there was not sufficient quantity of material to make up one full load of slab.’
    • ‘What Holford has done is invent a new system called Glycaemic Load or GL, which measures quantity of sugar as well as quality.’
    • ‘In this study, the extent of reduction in seed production due to insufficient pollen quantity and quality were examined in a naturally pollinated M. stellata population.’
    • ‘The total quantity of materials required to complete the development will be about 1.25 million cubic metres.’
    • ‘‘The cost of any project is a measure of quality times quantity,’ he says.’
    • ‘The competition is certainly hotting up in the mobile market, but at the moment the expansion is more about quantity than quality.’
    • ‘A consensus was reached during the workshop that both the quality and quantity of raw materials were a source of great concern in the leather industry of the Eastern and Southern African region.’
    • ‘This was true across a wide range of ages in healthy adults and in several measures of sleep quantity and sleep quality.’
    • ‘His mathematical work, though not large in quantity, was first-rate in quality.’
    • ‘The label should indicate the insulation material, R-value, quantity, and the name and address of the manufacturer or distributor.’
    amount, number, total, aggregate, sum, quota, group, size, mass, weight, volume, bulk, load, consignment, expanse, extent, length, area
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    1. 1.1[count noun]A certain, usually specified, amount or number of something.
      ‘a small quantity of food’
      ‘if taken in large quantities, the drug can result in liver failure’
      • ‘So far, officers have executed 18 search warrants throughout the north and south of the county, seizing a substantial quantity of controlled drugs.’
      • ‘I was drinking large quantities of tonic water, which contains quinine, when this started.’
      • ‘In Cornwall and North Wales in particular, many sites produce considerable quantities of Roman goods.’
      • ‘Most can be rehydrated quickly and easily by drinking large quantities of a solution of oral rehydration salts.’
      • ‘On my own, I don't buy massive quantities of groceries like we did for the family.’
      • ‘All the enclosure ditches contained considerable quantities of domestic rubbish.’
      • ‘We make an afternoon of it and drink copious quantities of beer.’
      • ‘Mrs Jones, the jury was told, had drunk large quantities of alcohol on a regular basis for a number of years.’
      • ‘Mrs Brice said that doctors in Canada were now able to give the green light to sufferers to grow small quantities of the drug for personal use.’
      • ‘Firstly, it generates considerable quantities of toxic waste, some of which remains radioactive for tens of thousands of years.’
      • ‘Pack trains were capable of moving very considerable quantities of goods, often through difficult terrain.’
      • ‘Drugs, large quantities of cash, weighing scales, clingfilm, mobile phones and several vehicles were seized.’
      • ‘He drank small quantities of alcohol and on one occasion ate ten chocolate biscuits.’
      • ‘Indeed, in the heatwave a few weeks back plenty of shops were selling twice the usual quantities of beer and several ran out.’
      • ‘The distraught 15-year-old says she was forced to drink large quantities of alcohol before being set upon.’
      • ‘Townsend was noted for exporting considerable quantities of pewter to these shores.’
      • ‘‘This operation is not about finding a large quantity of drugs but to reassure the public and take out middle level dealers,’ he said.’
      • ‘But public health experts warned against drinking large quantities of sugary drinks in a bid to boost memory function.’
      • ‘We have good evidence that young adults are buying large quantities of drink and selling it to youngsters at a healthy profit.’
      • ‘Britain has continued to drink large quantities of tea, in good times and bad.’
    2. 1.2A considerable number or amount of something.
      ‘she was able to drink quantities of beer without degenerating into giggles’
      [mass noun] ‘many people like to buy in quantity’
      • ‘Locally, some traders have bought quantities of genuine Livestrong bands and are selling them on at a profit.’
      • ‘If you buy cereal in bulk quantities the shelf height should be 18 inches.’
      • ‘Well, there were quantities of that drug missing from the hospital during the time these people were dying.’
      • ‘During the raids police seized personal belongings, documents, drugs paraphernalia, a quantity of crack cocaine and a small amount of cannabis.’
      • ‘The judge said that police found 35.2g cannabis, evidence of his attempts at drug horticulture and a quantity of money when they raided his home.’
      • ‘The fatal fraud was the result of his action in buying quantities of shares in a distilling firm in an effort to shore up the share price.’
      • ‘The search is due to continue today with Gardaí confident of uncovering more quantities of the drug.’
      • ‘Mass quantities of Harlequin Valentine ship today from Dark Horse, just in time for Valentine's Day.’
      • ‘I just collect items until they become bulk quantity.’
      • ‘Bulk quantities of spices can be accommodated in a storage system that will hold these items in large containers.’
      an amount, a number, a good few, a good number, a lot, a large amount, a good deal, a great deal
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  • 2Phonetics
    The perceived length of a vowel sound or syllable.

    • ‘In speech, this feature is reflected in phonological quantity.’
    • ‘This study investigates the realisation of phonological quantity in the dialects of Modern Swedish, based on a corpus containing recordings from 86 locations in Sweden and the Swedish-speaking parts of Finland.’
    • ‘The phonetic theory includes the analysis and classification of speech sounds generally and of the sounds of English in particular; sound grouping, accentual features, quantity, junction, assimilation, intonation; questions may also be asked on the teaching of English pronunciation.’
    • ‘In phonetics, the sense of movement in speech consists of the stress, quantity, and timing of syllables.’
    • ‘The most obvious common phonetic feature may be the linguistically distinctive quantity in both vowels and consonants.’
  • 3Mathematics Physics
    A value or component that may be expressed in numbers.

    • ‘This quantity is called the Mean Square of the velocity.’
    • ‘Those ratios are the same for both quantity and value.’
    • ‘Another important quantity is the clustering coefficient C of a vertex.’
    • ‘Entropy is a very difficult physical quantity to understand.’
    • ‘De triangulis is in five books, the first of which gives the basic definitions: quantity, ratio, equality, circles, arcs, chords, and the sine function.’
    • ‘The quantity / N depends strongly on the scaled mutation parameter M and on whether the number of loci is limiting.’
    1. 3.1[count noun]The figure or symbol representing a quantity.
      • ‘In other words, it was not spontaneously obvious in earlier cultures that zero is a quantity that could be represented.’
      • ‘The heat absorbed or released in a reaction depends on a quantity called enthalpy, represented by the capital letter H.’
      • ‘An ellipse is a flattened circle, and the degree of flatness is indicated by a numerical quantity called eccentricity, abbreviated e.’
      • ‘The ‘Richardson number’, a fundamental quantity involving gradients of temperature and wind velocity is named after him.’
      • ‘The quantity w represents the average fitness of the population at equilibrium.’


Middle English: from Old French quantite, from Latin quantitas (translating Greek posotēs), from quantus how great, how much.