I want to know a word which can be used to indicate that a particular object is ordered 'in large numbers'. The terms like numerous and many do not reflect my stress on numbers. Can anyone suggest a better word?

Example sentence: "Why was this spoon not ordered (suggested word)?"

  • Any issues with the word quantity itself? I would certainly have said "Why was this spoon not ordered in quantity?" At least in technical contexts, we do use the term in quantity to mean in substantial/ large quantities, say for meeting annual requirement or for price leverage. – Kris Jul 18 '12 at 13:36
  • Actually I was looking for something which could mean something which would explicitly mean large numbers, I thought I could use en masse but then like Aaamos said the meaning was listed differently. – Samantk Jul 18 '12 at 14:44
  • "Why was this spoon not ordered in bunches?" – Hot Licks Feb 5 '16 at 2:47

The phrase you're looking for might be "in bulk".

(My first answer would've been the French phrase en masse, but after checking a couple of online dictionaries, it seems it doesn't mean what I thought it meant... though I'm sure I've heard it used to mean "in bulk".)

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  • I was just typing that :) but the site wouldn't let me use less than 30 characters, so +1 – Born2Smile Jul 18 '12 at 1:52
  • Hmmm...before posting I too thought en masse would fit the bill... after seeing the meaning I posted here... but still can there be a single word for this? – Samantk Jul 18 '12 at 1:57
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    You could place a "bulk order", or you could "bulk purchase" - but as far as I'm aware, these are still separate words (not hyphenated). But the answer would fit for your sentence: "Why was this spoon not ordered in bulk?" If you're looking for a single word, you may wish to tag your question with "single-word-request". – Amos M. Carpenter Jul 18 '12 at 2:05

Since you're looking for a single word, "wholesale" fits the bill.

The Free Dictionary defines it as:

In large bulk or quantity

An example sentence from the same source:

He buys the materials wholesale.

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  • Hi, I think that wholesale will be construed as quantity rather than the numbers - which I really wish to assert in the sentence using a single word if possible. – Samantk Jul 18 '12 at 5:56
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    The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary gives only this definition for "wholesale" - "selling of goods (esp in large quantities) to shopkeepers, for resale to the public". Although other dictionaries in the Oxford family give definitions that specifically relate to large quantities, the fact is that if you use "wholesale" just to relate to quantity, you're likely to be misunderstood. Therefore, you're much better to use the phrase "in bulk" if this is what you mean. – user16269 Jul 18 '12 at 6:51
  • I agree with David Wallace. In BE 'wholesale' is often used in the context of goods for resale (at 'retail') and while it can be used in the sense of e.g. 'wholesale destruction' would, in the example offered lead to confusion. – Tony Balmforth Jul 18 '12 at 10:52

I think aaamos's suggestions of "en masse" and "in bulk" are probably the most suitable.

However, if you're really keen to have one word, perhaps you could use:




Otherwise a thesaurus might be a good route.

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  • Actually they do not imply 'large numbers' explicitly, I think no single word exists in English. – Samantk Jul 18 '12 at 13:46

Might 'myriad' or 'in myriad' work well?

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  • This is really a comment, not an answer to the question. Please use "add comment" to leave feedback for the author. – tchrist Aug 19 '12 at 2:34
  • @tchrist OP asked for a word. I found one that might fit the requirements, and suggested it. It is in no way a comment, nor is it feedback of any sort. – acolyte Aug 19 '12 at 6:03

Multitude, exponential, infinite, grandiose, heaps, loads, lots, plenty, obscene, colossal, humongous, packs, a lot... That's all i got...

With your example sentence you might want to use:




in plenty amounts

in packs

in heaps

in humongous amounts

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How about "on a grand scale." I was looking to say, "I first saw this (in large numbers) and wrote "on a grand scale..."

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If you need one word, "massively" or "numerously" may work, however whilst they do infer quantity they don't infer extent.

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