Definition of volume in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈvälyəm/
Pronunciation: /ˈvälˌyo͞om/


1A book forming part of a work or series.
Example sentences
  • There was huge, leather bound series of volumes of Encyclopaedia Celtica.
  • Photographs are of reasonable resolution and the whole layout of the book is more pleasing and open than earlier volumes in the series.
  • Eventually the series filled two volumes published in March and May 1788.
1.1A single book or a bound collection of printed sheets.
Example sentences
  • He initially conceived of the drawings in the book to be printed in a bound volume that would have no title, no words, and no instructions to indicate which was the top or bottom.
  • It has a distinguished collection of over 35,000 volumes including many rare travel books from the 18th and 19th century.
  • The library has a current holding of about 2.2 million volumes in print, which breaks down into 148 holdings per student.
book, publication, tome, hardback, paperback, title;
manual, almanac, compendium
1.2A consecutive sequence of issues of a periodical.
Example sentences
  • So I went to the college library and started to go through the volumes of back issues.
  • Sadly only 3 volumes and 30 issues appeared before it was forced to close.
  • Under his management the 100th volume was issued in 1938.
1.3 historical A scroll of parchment or papyrus containing written matter.
2The amount of space that a substance or object occupies, or that is enclosed within a container, especially when great: the sewer could not cope with the volume of rainwater a volume of air
More example sentences
  • With negative curvature, space has infinite volume.
  • Likewise, a gas will occupy any volume which is made available to it.
  • In other words, it takes on the exact shape and volume of its container.
capacity, cubic measure, size, magnitude, mass, bulk, extent;
dimensions, proportions, measurements
2.1The amount or quantity of something, especially when great: changes in the volume of consumer spending
More example sentences
  • The amount and volume of material we receive each day is huge and unfortunately sometimes it's impossible to answer everybody's pleas.
  • A year later, he upgraded the phone system to handle the growing volume of phone orders.
  • The business has also been successful in increasing both the value and volume of orders per customer through better customer relationship management.
quantity, amount, proportion, measure, mass, bulk
2.2 (a volume of/volumes of) A certain, typically large amount of something: the volumes of data handled are vast
More example sentences
  • Due to the volume of of applications currently being received we have decided to extend the Supplemental Application deadline to October 15th, 2007.
  • The co-ops will have the very critical task of writing code and developing data pipelines to help our scientific team manage the large volume of of samples processed through our facility on a daily basis.
2.3Fullness or expansive thickness of something, especially of a person’s hair.
Example sentences
  • It gives length and volume, so your hair looks natural.
  • He applies a lightweight gloss after blow-drying and before curling to help keep her hair's natural volume and fullness under control and to add shine.
  • It prolongs the durability of the curl, enhancing its elasticity and volume without weighing the hair down.
3Quantity or power of sound; degree of loudness: he turned the volume up on the radio
More example sentences
  • Pianists must rely more heavily on differing volume levels to distinguish voices.
  • There are two further console-style buttons on the top of the device, positioned for index-finger usage, and power and volume controls on the base.
  • The controls are on top surface of the right-hand satellite speaker but are limited to the power switch and volume control.
loudness, sound, amplification
informal decibels


Late Middle English (originally denoting a roll of parchment containing written matter): from Old French volum(e), from Latin volumen 'a roll', from volvere 'to roll'. An obsolete meaning 'size or extent (of a book)' gave rise to sense 2.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: vol·ume

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.