Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Size, mass, or volume, especially when very large.
  • n. A distinct mass or portion of matter, especially a large one: the dark bulk of buildings against the sky.
  • n. The body of a human, especially when large or muscular.
  • n. The major portion or greater part: "The great bulk of necessary work can never be anything but painful” ( Bertrand Russell).
  • n. See fiber.
  • n. Thickness of paper or cardboard in relation to weight.
  • n. A ship's cargo.
  • intransitive v. To be or appear to be massive in terms of size, volume, or importance; loom: Safety considerations bulked large during development of the new spacecraft.
  • intransitive v. To grow or increase in size or importance.
  • intransitive v. To cohere or form a mass: Certain paper bulks well.
  • transitive v. To cause to swell or expand.
  • transitive v. To cause to cohere or form a mass.
  • adj. Being large in mass, quantity, or volume: a bulk buy; a bulk mailing.
  • bulk up To gain weight by gaining muscle: dietary supplements that helped the weightlifters bulk up.
  • idiom in bulk Unpackaged; loose.
  • idiom in bulk In large numbers, amounts, or volume.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Size, mass or volume.
  • n. The major part of something.
  • n. The result of water retained by fibre.
  • n. (transport) Unpackaged goods when transported in large volumes, e.g. coal, ore or grain.
  • n. a cargo or any items moved or communicated in the manner of cargo.
  • n. Excess body mass, especially muscle.
  • n. A hypothetical higher-dimensional space within which our own four-dimensional universe may exist.
  • adj. being large in size, mass or volume
  • v. to be, or appear to be, massive
  • v. to grow in size; to swell or expand

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Magnitude of material substance; dimensions; mass; size.
  • n. The main mass or body; the largest or principal portion; the majority.
  • n. The cargo of a vessel when stowed.
  • n. The body.
  • n. A projecting part of a building.
  • intransitive v. To appear or seem to be, as to bulk or extent; to swell.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To increase in bulk; grow large; swell.
  • To put or hold in bulk or as a mass; fix the bulk of in place: as, to bulk a cargo.
  • To belch.
  • To strike; beat.
  • To throb.
  • In the tobacco industry, to form into a bulk or bulks; to leave in the state of bulks: used in this sense with down.
  • To pile in heaps, as fish for salting.
  • n. A heap.
  • n. Magnitude of material substance; whole dimensions in length, breadth, and thickness; size of a material thing: as, an ox or a ship of great bulk.
  • n. The gross; the greater part; the main mass or body: as, the bulk of a debt; the bulk of a nation.
  • n. The bottom or hold of a ship.
  • n. The entire space in a ship's hold for the stowage of goods; hence, that which is stowed; the mass of the cargo: as, to break bulk for unloading.
  • n. The breast; the chest; the thorax.
  • n. The body of a living creature.
  • n. A partition; a projecting part of a building.
  • n. A stall in front of a shop.
  • n. A large chest or box.
  • n. A pile of tobacco laid up in courses for the purpose of sweating.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the property resulting from being or relating to the greater in number of two parts; the main part
  • v. cause to bulge or swell outwards
  • n. the property of something that is great in magnitude
  • n. the property possessed by a large mass
  • v. stick out or up

Etymologies

Middle English, perhaps partly alteration of bouk, belly, trunk of the body (from Old English būc) and partly from Old Norse bulki, cargo, heap; see bhel-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bolke ("a heap, cargo, hold"), from Old Norse búlki ("the freight or the cargo of a ship"), from Proto-Germanic *bulkô (“beam, pile, heap”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhelǵ- (“beam, pile, prop”), related to Icelandic búlkast ("to be bulky"), Swedish dialectal bulk ("a bunch"), Danish bulk ("bump, knob"). Conflated with Middle English bouk ("belly, trunk"), from Old English būc ("belly, stomach, pitcher"), from Proto-Germanic *būkaz (“belly, body”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhōw- (“to blow, swell”), related to Dutch buik ("belly"), German Bauch ("belly, stomach"), Swedish buk ("belly, abdomen"). More at bouk, bucket. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • According to Brix, the weight per English cord and relative heating effect of several air-dry peats -- the heating power of an equal bulk of oak wood being taken at 100 as a standard -- are as follows, _bulk for bulk_: [13] _Weight per _Heating cord. _ effect.

    Peat and its Uses as Fertilizer and Fuel

  • SYNOPSIS use Geo:: Coder:: Bing:: Bulk; my $bulk = Geo:: Coder:: Bing:: Bulk-new (key = 'Your Bing Maps key'); my $id = $bulk-upload (\@locations); sleep 30 while $bulk-is_pending; my $data = $bulk-download; my $failed = $bulk-failed;

    Softpedia - Windows - All

  • I have given up trying to buy locally, as a result of this poisoned pricing model and have gone instead to buying in bulk from the left coast.

    Imaginary plastic diseased green shoots

  • Making pesto in bulk is like stretching and priming a canvas.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • In other words, they take the well-worn assumption that buying in bulk is cheaper and exploit it ruthlessly

    The Tesco Way « We Don't Count Your Own Visits To Your Blog

  • There are many reports available that show that samples composed of nanoparticles, all things equal, can lead to better performance than what we call bulk counterparts.

    Archive 2010-03-01

  • Very rarely do vodka marketers tell the truth and say, here’s our new vodka, which we buy in bulk from the same distillery that produces vodka for $8 a bottle.

    The Placebo Affect*

  • I buy products in bulk or choose items that come with less packaging.

    » Saving the World Without Going Crazy Strocel.com

  • SubPress Director of Production, Yanni Kuznia, and I have been very busy the week or so, sending new titles to the printer in bulk, or at least it felt like it.

    Subterranean Press » 2009 » November

  • What does me buying in bulk to save packaging matter when a company can dump loads of toxic chemicals into a river, risking only an insignificant (to them) fine?

    » Saving the World Without Going Crazy Strocel.com

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  • "Heave your bulk over there."

    January 31, 2007