Definition of voluminous in US English:



  • 1(of clothing or drapery) loose and ample.

    • ‘She pulled her knees up to her chest and hugged her legs through the voluminous fabric of her skirts, closing her eyes and feeling resentment build.’
    • ‘A servant in voluminous green robes ducked her head in an abbreviated bow and gestured them into the house.’
    • ‘Her back is to us as she faces a cardinal with voluminous robes and a malevolent expression.’
    • ‘The other kept herself hidden in a voluminous cloak that rippled despite the lack of wind.’
    • ‘Well, the Elizabethans wore voluminous clothing, and an item or two less should not offend even the most prudish, we suppose.’
    • ‘I could not imagine how she had fit in there with such a voluminous dress.’
    • ‘Her sleeves were puffed at her shoulders, then tapered to a shimmering fabric that exactly fit the curve of Violet's arms and the skirt, intricately stitched with vines, fell in voluminous folds from her waist.’
    • ‘You couldn't tell what they were like, for they were draped in voluminous layers of fabric-bright pinks and dark blues.’
    • ‘But in the nineteenth century women were difficult to save: their voluminous clothing was a dead weight in water, and modesty usually prevented their shedding their apparel, even when in danger of drowning.’
    • ‘Men often dressed in baggy black pants and colorful, wide-brimmed hats, while women wore voluminous black dresses, colorfully embroidered bodices, and lace bonnets.’
    • ‘She put her own book beside her in the chair and pulled her feet underneath her, wrapping the voluminous robe a little tighter.’
    • ‘She was stumbling down the side of the road towards him, dressed in something quite voluminous.’
    • ‘Some Hawaiian women wear the muumuu, a voluminous dress originally designed by modest missionaries for Hawaiian women.’
    • ‘His companion scurried to obey him, unclipping a ring of heavy keys from somewhere inside his voluminous robes.’
    • ‘I matched his pace, though the voluminous skirts made it difficult.’
    • ‘Across the street, young girls stared transfixed at the voluminous white dresses in the bridal-shop windows.’
    • ‘Though the voluminous skirts of yesteryear were out of fashion, a slight bloom of the skirts was acceptable if not encouraged.’
    capacious, commodious, roomy, spacious, ample, full, big, large, sizeable, immense, vast, generous
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  • 2(of writing) very lengthy and full.

    • ‘It also quotes extensively from his voluminous war notes - letters, journals, and personal reminiscences written during and shortly after the war.’
    • ‘Despite a voluminous outpouring of books and journal articles, historians are in some senses only beginning to catch up to certain facets of America's Civil War.’
    • ‘His voluminous writings became scripture defining the party line and the correct view of history.’
    • ‘This, and the voluminous correspondence that passed between the parties, demonstrated that it has more than adequately filled its statutory duties.’
    • ‘Even his opponents continually referred to him as an eminent and brilliant legal scholar, but I certainly didn't find anything in his voluminous writings that could possibly justify such praise.’
    • ‘The text is eminently readable and supported by detailed citations and a voluminous index.’
    • ‘On the eve of his departure in January, 1795, he mustered the strength for one last voluminous report on government finance and outlined an ambitious future course.’
    • ‘Inevitably, a selection of subjects from Augustine's voluminous writings reflects the particular interests and views of the author.’
    • ‘Five years older than Voltaire, he died in 1755, leaving a much less voluminous body of writings.’
    • ‘An invariable theme at prayer meetings and in Gandhi's voluminous writings was the urgency to bring devotion in accord with conduct.’
    • ‘The letter to Gevaerts cited above exemplifies the tenor of his voluminous correspondence, which is filled with references to an encyclopedic body of ancient texts.’
    • ‘His voluminous writings on biblical criticism show him to have been the first liberal textual critic.’
    • ‘That key person needs to listen intently, take voluminous notes, and collect all class handouts, texts, and tests.’
    • ‘His voluminous writings, which call for a ‘law based on morality’, are little more than a long argument to justify controlling other people's lives.’
    • ‘‘My father was a source of knowledge missing from voluminous books,’ the son says.’
    • ‘It didn't prevent him from giving voluminous notes on their performance every night or changing a thing or two, however.’
    • ‘One theme treated several times in his voluminous writings was whether laymen and women should be allowed to dance in churchyards on feast days.’
    • ‘Hospital case notes are more voluminous than traditional British general practice paper records, which are normally maintained on small cards, named after the politician who introduced them more than 90 years ago.’
    • ‘Verbatim notetakers can get by thinking I'll figure out what this means later, but later, you've got those horrendously voluminous notes to deal with.’
    • ‘Another selection we need is, I think, a volume of her work which includes generous extracts from both her three books of prose and her voluminous correspondence.’
    1. 2.1 (of a writer) producing many books.
      • ‘Epicurus was a voluminous writer, but almost none of his own work survives.’
      • ‘I'd gone from a writer like Lowell who was voluminous in his personal testimony to a writer about whom nothing at all was known.’
      • ‘He was a voluminous letter writer and his letters are just the most splendid letters.’
      • ‘The chapter on his grandfather is a delight; he was a Church of Ireland canon, who believed not only in a God of love but a God of anger and was also a regular correspondent to the Irish Times, and a voluminous diarist.’


Early 17th century: partly from late Latin voluminosus ‘having many coils’, partly from Latin volumen, volumin- (see volume).