American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


VOL'UME, noun [Latin volumen, a roll; volvo, to roll. to make u long, in this word, is palpably wrong.]

1. Primarily a roll, as the ancients wrote on long strips of bark, parchment or other material, which they formed into rolls or folds. Of such volumes, Ptolemy's library in Alexandria contained 3 or 700, 000.

2. A roll or turn; as much as is included in a roll or coil; as the volume of a serpent.

3. Dimensions; compass; space occupied; as the volume of an elephant's body; a volume of gas.

4. A swelling or spherical body.

The undulating billows rolling their silver volumes.

5. A book; a collection of sheets of paper, usually printed or written paper, folded and bound, or covered. A book consisting of sheets once folded, is called a folio, or a folio volume; of sheets twice folded, a quarto; and thus according to the number of leaves in a sheet, it is called an octavo, or a duodecimo. The Scriptures or sacred writings, bound in a single volume are called the Bible. The number of volumes in the Royal Library, in rue de Richlieu, at Paris, is variously estimated. It is probable it may amount to 400, 000.

An odd volume of a set of books, bears not the value of its proportion to the set.

6. In music, the compass of a voice from grave to acute; the tone or power of voice.