Student Dictionary

One entry found for volume.
Main Entry: vol·ume
Pronunciation: primarystressväl-yschwam, -yüm
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English volume "a book, a scroll of papyrus," from early French (same meaning), from Latin volumen "roll, scroll," from volvere "to roll" --related to REVOLVE
1 : 1BOOK 2a
2 : one of a series of books forming a complete work or collection <the fifth volume of an encyclopedia>
3 : an amount of space as measured in cubic units <the volume of a container>
4 : a large amount : MASS <volumes of smoke> <a volume of criticism poured in>
5 : the degree of loudness of a sound <turn up the volume>
Word History The earliest books were written on long rolls made from a plant called papyrus. The Roman name for such a roll was volumen, a word which came from the verb volvere, meaning "to roll." Later, books were made of a material called parchment, which, unlike papyrus, could be folded and bound together. This advance made it unnecessary to use rolls anymore. The French word volume, which came from the Latin volumen, was originally used to refer to papyrus rolls but later was used for bound books as well. The French word was borrowed into English in the 14th century. By the 16th century, volume had also come to mean "the size (of a book)." This meaning led to a more general sense, "the quantity or amount (of anything)." In the 19th century, volume acquired still another meaning, "the strength or loudness of a sound."

Pronunciation Symbols