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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.
See also: consume, mass, quantity

an unknown quantity

A person or thing that is unpredictable and thus difficult to anticipate. We're still revising our new product, so its potential success is an unknown quantity. This is her first year teaching, so her ability to connect with her students is still an unknown quantity.
See also: quantity, unknown

known quantity

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.
See also: known, quantity

*unknown quantity

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.
See also: quantity, unknown

unknown quantity

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.
See also: quantity, unknown

an unknown quantity

COMMON If someone or something is an unknown quantity, not much is known about them. She had met Max several times, but he was still pretty much an unknown quantity. The team is something of an unknown quantity, having played few big games. Ballet was an unknown quantity in the United States at that time.
See also: quantity, unknown

unknown quantity

a person or thing whose nature, value, or significance cannot be determined or is not yet known.
See also: quantity, unknown

an ˌunknown ˈquantity

a person or thing that you do not know anything or enough about: His ability to make decisions in a crisis is an unknown quantity.Our new director is still an unknown quantity.
See also: quantity, unknown
References in periodicals archive ?
Because demolition concrete is now being disposed of in the landfill, SNL/NM recycle quantities by weight reported to Waste Wise decreased from 2002 to 2003.
Reverse logistics organizations are not accustomed to handling large quantities of heavy, unpackaged items and conducting serial number capture at the time of pickup.
No amount of improvement in the accuracy of these measurement methods will cause their results to converge as they are fundamentally measuring different quantities (two point, least-squares, and maximum inscribed diameters).
The AD7766 ADC is sampling now in a 16-lead TSSOP with production quantities available in the third quarter of 2007.
The Planck constant underlies a half-dozen of them and could serve as the basis for redefining the kilogram in terms of absolute physical quantities.
Moreover, Berenbaum is quick to point out, these figures may actually underestimate those foods' oxidant-quashing activity, since many of them--unlike honey--also contain large quantities of fat-soluble antioxidants such as vitamin E and carotenoids.
Lot 3 Supply of freeze-dried beef rice dishes and vegetables Mini quantity 25 000, max quantities 100 000 over 3 years.
The system also computes aircraft center of gravity, fuel transfer quantities, transfer rate, and fuel system warning conditions.
Quantities min and max that could be the subject of one of the subsequent contract to be awarded for the duration of the framework agreement:
Procurement Framework Agreement for the Supply Flowers, in Particular the Quantities and Technical Characteristics Provided in the Specifications, Which Will Be Planted On Lawns Street, in Parks, Squares, Gardens in the City of Galati.
Total quantity or scope: Quantities and estimated values framework agreement and subsequent contract for the entire life of 24 months:
TCI's Perpetual Inventory Module enables retail store management to track product movement and access actual on-hand quantities for an item or groups of items at any point in time.
The VSC8142 is available in a 208-pin TBGA package and priced at $166 for quantities of 1,000.
Total quantity or scope: Lot 1 "Diesel" minimum annual quantities of 300 000 liters; no maximum quantities.