In a recipe we might have: "Flour: 2 cups".

In chemistry, the analog is like: "2 drops of water".

Similarly, In medicine: "Aspirin: 80mg".

The name of the substance by itself has names like "ingredient", "reagent", "medication". Likewise, the amount can be called "amount" or "dosage".

But I need a name for both together and haven't been able to think of what to call it. Is there a word or phrase that means that?

Perhaps it would be used like this: The third ???? in the recipe is "2 cups flour"

EDIT: A word that is really close is the medical usage of "prescription". For example, "The prescription was for 80mg of aspirin."

  • 1
    You can use 'item'. "The third item in the recipe is "2 cups flour.""
    – Ubi.B
    Aug 6, 2018 at 19:24
  • 1
    But item doesn't have the meaning of "type of something + amount of it"
    – BruceDLong
    Aug 6, 2018 at 19:45
  • 3
    BruceDLong, what makes you think there should be one such word? Aug 6, 2018 at 19:51
  • 1
    That is why I asked for a word OR phrase. It is so common that a substance is specified with an amount that I think there may be such a word. But I don't know for sure, of course.
    – BruceDLong
    Aug 6, 2018 at 19:56
  • 1
    I'm not sure you can't use "ingredient" in a looser sense. "The third ingredient in the recipe is 2 cups flour". Even if that is not technically correct, nobody would see that and go "Whoa! that just doesn't sound right." I'd call it within the bounds of literary license.
    – fixer1234
    Aug 7, 2018 at 0:20

3 Answers 3


Perhaps formula?

From Dictionary.com:

5a) a prescription for making up a medicine, baby's food, etc
 b) substance prepared according to such a prescription
  • This is really very close. Probably close enough for my purpose. I suppose technically, what I want is a "term" in a formula. In a term like "3X" the three is the amount and the X is the type. But term doesn't sound right for some reason. I'm going with formula.
    – BruceDLong
    Aug 7, 2018 at 4:38

In general, you're not going to find a word that encompasses both the type of item and the quantity (or mass or value). However, there are specialized words that refers to a multiplicity of a specific type of animal, for instance:

  • A pride of lions
  • A zeal (or dazzle) of zebras
  • A sleuth of bears

Getting closer to your question, though, you're going to be hard-pressed to find the words you are looking for, since they probably don't even exist. The only word I can think of that comes close to what you are looking for is clove, since it almost always refers specifically to a clove of garlic, where you have a specific item (garlic) and a specific amount (clove). But even there, it would sound odd to just ask for a clove; you'd almost always say a "garlic clove."

  • "A clove" does have a meaning in recipes, but it has nothing to do with garlic. Aug 6, 2018 at 20:41
  • I looked it up on dictionary.com and see that TimLymington is correct, though, when you go to the grocery store, you can ask for a clove of garlic and get a ready response, but you would get some stares if you asked the produce person for a clove of blueberries, strawberries, or honeydoo.
    – JoshG
    Aug 6, 2018 at 20:49
  • It wasn't your suggestion for a word or phrase, but you DID use the phrase "multiplicity of a specific type". Technically that would work but I'm hoping for something more sonorous.
    – BruceDLong
    Aug 6, 2018 at 21:11
  • 1
    Well, if you get James Earl Jones to say it, it will be more sonorous.
    – JoshG
    Aug 6, 2018 at 22:23
  • You can sort of do it with a generic term for the type or function of the item, but it is one item at a time. For example: "the sweetener in the recipe is 2 tsp sugar".
    – fixer1234
    Aug 7, 2018 at 0:13

Among "Flour: 2 cups," "2 drops of water," and "Aspirin: 80mg," one word that expresses the same idea for all of them is measure:


1 a (1) : an adequate or due portion
d (1) : a measured quantity

Hence, you would dispense a measure of flour, water, or aspirin.

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