Known quantities
Quantity Quan"ti*ty, n.; pl. {Quantities}. [F. quantite, L. quantitas, fr. quantus bow great, how much, akin to quam bow, E. how, who. See {Who}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The attribute of being so much, and not more or less; the property of being measurable, or capable of increase and decrease, multiplication and division; greatness; and more concretely, that which answers the question ``How much?''; measure in regard to bulk or amount; determinate or comparative dimensions; measure; amount; bulk; extent; size. Hence, in specific uses: (a) (Logic) The extent or extension of a general conception, that is, the number of species or individuals to which it may be applied; also, its content or comprehension, that is, the number of its constituent qualities, attributes, or relations. (b) (Gram.) The measure of a syllable; that which determines the time in which it is pronounced; as, the long or short quantity of a vowel or syllable. (c) (Mus.) The relative duration of a tone. [1913 Webster]

2. That which can be increased, diminished, or measured; especially (Math.), anything to which mathematical processes are applicable. [1913 Webster]

Note: Quantity is discrete when it is applied to separate objects, as in number; continuous, when the parts are connected, either in succession, as in time, motion, etc., or in extension, as by the dimensions of space, viz., length, breadth, and thickness. [1913 Webster]

3. A determinate or estimated amount; a sum or bulk; a certain portion or part; sometimes, a considerable amount; a large portion, bulk, or sum; as, a medicine taken in quantities, that is, in large quantities. [1913 Webster]

The quantity of extensive and curious information which he had picked up during many months of desultory, but not unprofitable, study. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

{Quantity of estate} (Law), its time of continuance, or degree of interest, as in fee, for life, or for years. --Wharton (Law Dict. )

{Quantity of matter}, in a body, its mass, as determined by its weight, or by its momentum under a given velocity.

{Quantity of motion} (Mech.), in a body, the relative amount of its motion, as measured by its momentum, varying as the product of mass and velocity.

{Known quantities} (Math.), quantities whose values are given.

{Unknown quantities} (Math.), quantities whose values are sought. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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