n. pl. quan·ti·ties
a. A specified or indefinite number or amount: shipped a large quantity of books; sells quantities of paper to publishers.
b. A considerable amount or number: sells drugs wholesale and in quantity.
c. An exact amount or number: the quantity of material recycled in a month.
2. The measurable or countable property or aspect of things: Arithmetic deals with quantity.
3. Mathematics Something that serves as the object of an operation.
a. Linguistics The relative amount of time needed to pronounce a vowel, consonant, or syllable.
b. The duration of a syllable in quantitative verse.
5. Logic The exact character of a proposition in reference to its universality, singularity, or particularity.
[Middle English quantite, from Old French, from Latin quantitās, quantitāt-, from quantus, how great; see kwo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.