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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.
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 or something whose inherent value, characteristics, or properties are previously established. This project is extremely important, so I want every team member working on it to be a known quantity. The success of this product has become something of a known quantity for the company each year.
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 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.
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.