quantity(redirected from quantities)
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Related to quantities: Scalar quantities, Physical quantities
consume mass quantities
To eat, drink, or otherwise consume large amounts of something. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Large family holidays are all typified by consuming mass quantities of food and alcohol. As the largest economy on the planet, our prerogative seems to be to consume mass quantities of the Earth's resources.
someone whose character, personality, and behavior are recognized and understood. We need not worry about how John will behave. He is a known quantity. Lisa is a known quantity and I am sure she will not surprise us by voting with the opposition.
Fig. a person or thing about which no one is certain. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) John is an unknown quantity. We don't know how he's going to act. The new clerk is an unknown quantity. Things may not turn out all right.
an unknown quantity
if someone or something is an unknown quantity, you do not know much about them or what effect they will have in the future Turner may do well in the election, though he is an unknown quantity as a campaigner. The new computer system is still an unknown quantity for our department.
An unpredictable person or thing, as in We don't know how the new pitcher will do-he's an unknown quantity. This expression comes from algebra, where it signifies an unknown numerical value. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1800s.