noun, plural quan·ti·ties.

Origin of quantity

1250–1300; Middle English quantite < Old French < Latin quantitās, equivalent to quant(us) how much + -itās -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of quantity

Historical Examples of quantity

British Dictionary definitions for quantity


noun plural -ties

  1. a specified or definite amount, weight, number, etc
  2. (as modifier)a quantity estimate
the aspect or property of anything that can be measured, weighed, counted, etc
a large or considerable amount
maths an entity having a magnitude that may be denoted by a numerical expression
physics a specified magnitude or amount; the product of a number and a unit
logic the characteristic of a proposition dependent on whether it is a universal or particular statement, considering all or only part of a class
prosody the relative duration of a syllable or the vowel in it

Word Origin for quantity

C14: from Old French quantité, from Latin quantitās extent, amount, from quantus how much


The use of a plural noun after quantity of as in a large quantity of bananas was formerly considered incorrect, but is now acceptable
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for quantity

early 14c., from Old French quantite, cantite (12c., Modern French quantité) and directly from Latin quantitatem (nominative quantitas) "relative greatness or extent," coined as a loan-translation of Greek posotes (from posos "how great? how much?") from Latin quantus "of what size? how much? how great? what amount?," correlative pronomial adjective, related to qui "who" (see who).

Latin quantitatem also is the source of Italian quantita, Spanish cantidad, Danish and Swedish kvantitet, German quantitat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

quantity in Science



Something, such as a number or symbol that represents a number, on which a mathematical operation is performed.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with quantity


see unknown quantity.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.