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bulk

bulk / bəlk/ • n. the mass or magnitude of something large: the sheer bulk of the bags. ∎  a large mass or shape, for example of a building or a heavy body: he moved quickly in spite of his bulk. ∎  [as adj.] large in quantity or amount: bulk orders of more than 100 copies. ∎  (the bulk) the majority or greater part of something: the bulk of the traffic had passed. ∎  roughage in food: bread and potatoes supply energy, essential protein, and bulk. ∎  cargo that is an unpackaged mass such as grain, oil, or milk. • v. 1. [intr.] be or seem to be of great size or importance: territorial questions bulked large in diplomatic relations. 2. [tr.] treat (a product) so that its quantity appears greater than it in fact is: traders were bulking up their flour with chalk. ∎  [intr.] (bulk up) build up body mass, typically in training for athletic events. PHRASES: in bulk 1. (esp. of goods) in large quantities, usually at a reduced price: buying tomatoes in bulk from a local farmer. 2. (of a cargo or commodity) loose; not packaged: sugar is imported in bulk and bagged on the island. ORIGIN: Middle English: the senses ‘cargo as a whole’ and ‘heap, large quantity’ (the earliest recorded) are probably from Old Norse búlki ‘cargo’; the origin of other senses remains uncertain, perhaps arising by alteration of obsolete bouk ‘belly, body.’

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bulk

bulk
A. cargo (in bulk, in large unbroken quantities) XIV; †heap XV;

B. †belly, trunk, body XIV; large body, huge frame XVI;

C. magnitude, volume, mass XV. In A — ON. (cf. OIcel. búlki cargo); in B perh. at first an alt. of †bouk, OE. būc belly = OS, būk, OHG. būh (G. bauch), ON. búkr :- Gmc. *búkaz; in C prob. transf. use of either A or B.
Hence bulk vb. (in several unconnected uses) XVI. bulky XV.

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Bulk

Bulk

a main mass or amount; a heap; a cargo; a considerable amount. See also mass.

Examples: bulk of people, 1711; of pilchards [a pile awaiting salting], 1822; of popery, 1641; of seals, 1881; of ships, 1658; of tobacco [a pile arranged for curing].

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bulk

bulkcalque, talc •catafalque •elk, whelk •bilk, ilk, milk, silk •Liebfraumilch • buttermilk • volk •bulk, hulk, skulk, sulk

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