# Quantity vs. Quality: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 6, 2023
Quantity refers to "how much" there is of something, focusing on numerical count, while Quality indicates the degree of excellence or merit of something.

## Key Differences

Quantity primarily emphasizes the countable aspect of items or concepts. On the contrary, Quality underlines the characteristics and standards that something possesses, largely ignoring numerical attributes.
In a business context, Quantity might refer to the number of products produced or sold. Whereas, Quality would address the standard to which those products were manufactured or the degree to which they meet certain criteria.
Exploring a culinary example, Quantity may discuss the number of ingredients used or dishes made. Simultaneously, Quality would consider the taste, appearance, and textural attributes of the food, ensuring it meets a particular culinary standard.
Considering an academic scenario, Quantity could pertain to the number of assignments submitted by a student. Quality, contrastingly, would delve into the depth of research, writing skill, and knowledge displayed within the assignments, regardless of their number.
In an environmental discussion, Quantity may describe the sheer number of species in a biome. Alternatively, Quality would investigate the health, vitality, and genetic diversity of the species present, rather than their mere numerical presence.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition Focus

Amount, Number
Degree of Excellence

Production Volume
Standard of Products/Services

### Grammatical Use

Often used with numerals
Rarely used with numerals

### Common Phrases

"Quantity over quality"
"Quality over quantity"

### Measurement Method

Can typically be numerically measured
Often measured subjectively

## Quantity and Quality Definitions

#### Quantity

In mathematics, Quantity signifies a specified or indefinite number or amount.
The Quantity of apples in the basket is twelve.

#### Quality

What does Quantity typically refer to?
Quantity commonly refers to the numerical amount of something.

#### Quantity

In linguistics, Quantity refers to the duration of pronunciation of a vowel.
In Finnish, vowel Quantity affects word meaning.

#### Quality

Can Quantity be used for non-physical items?
Yes, Quantity can be used for both tangible and intangible items or concepts.

#### Quantity

In commerce, Quantity often denotes the number of items purchased or produced.
The store ordered a large Quantity of smartphones for the holiday sale.

#### Quality

Is Quality always subjective?
While often subjective, Quality can have objective measures, depending on the context.

#### Quantity

A specified or indefinite number or amount
Shipped a large quantity of books.
Sells quantities of paper to publishers.

#### Quality

Can Quality refer to negative aspects?
Yes, Quality can reference both positive and negative characteristics of something.

#### Quantity

A considerable amount or number
Sells drugs wholesale and in quantity.

#### Quality

An inherent or distinguishing characteristic; a property
The medicinal qualities of a plant.

#### Quantity

An exact amount or number
The quantity of material recycled in a month.

#### Quality

A personal trait, especially a character trait
"The most vital quality a soldier can possess is self-confidence" (George S. Patton).

#### Quantity

The measurable or countable property or aspect of things
Arithmetic deals with quantity.

#### Quality

Essential character; nature
"The quality of mercy is not strain'd" (Shakespeare).

#### Quantity

(Mathematics) Something that serves as the object of an operation.

#### Quality

Superiority of kind
An intellect of unquestioned quality.

#### Quantity

(Linguistics) The relative amount of time needed to pronounce a vowel, consonant, or syllable.

#### Quality

Yard goods of low quality.

#### Quantity

The duration of a syllable in quantitative verse.

#### Quality

Investments that have a low risk of loss or default
The flight to quality.

#### Quantity

(Logic) The exact character of a proposition in reference to its universality, singularity, or particularity.

#### Quality

High social position
People of quality.

#### Quantity

A fundamental, generic term used when referring to the measurement (count, amount) of a scalar, vector, number of items or to some other way of denominating the value of a collection or group of items.
You have to choose between quantity and quality.

#### Quality

Those in a high social position
Likes to associate with quality.

#### Quantity

An indefinite amount of something.
Some soap making oils are best as base oils, used in a larger quantity in the soap, while other oils are best added in a small quantity.
Olive oil can be used practically in any quantity.

#### Quality

(Music) Timbre, as determined by harmonics
A voice with a distinctive metallic quality.

#### Quantity

A specific measured amount.
This bag would normally costs \$497.50 for a quantity of 250, at a price of \$1.99 per piece.
Generally it should not be used in a quantity larger than 15 percent.

#### Quality

(Linguistics) The character of a vowel sound determined by the size and shape of the oral cavity and the amount of resonance with which the sound is produced.

#### Quantity

A considerable measure or amount.
The Boeing P-26A was the first all-metal monoplane fighter produced in quantity for the U.S. Army Air Corps.

#### Quality

(Logic) The positive or negative character of a proposition.

#### Quantity

(metrology) Property of a phenomenon, body, or substance, where the property has a magnitude that can be expressed as number and a reference.

#### Quality

Having a high degree of excellence
The importance of quality health care.

#### Quantity

(mathematics) Indicates that the entire preceding expression is henceforth considered a single object.
X plus y quantity squared equals x squared plus 2xy plus y squared.

#### Quality

(uncountable) Level of excellence.
This school is well-known for having teachers of high quality.
Quality of life is usually determined by health, education, and income.

#### Quantity

(phonology) Length of sounds.

#### Quality

(countable) Something that differentiates a thing or person.
One of the qualities of pure iron is that it does not rust easily.
While being impulsive can be great for artists, it is not a desirable quality for engineers.
Security, stability, and efficiency are good qualities of an operating system.

#### Quantity

The attribute of being so much, and not more or less; the property of being measurable, or capable of increase and decrease, multiplication and division; greatness; and more concretely, that which answers the question "How much?"; measure in regard to bulk or amount; determinate or comparative dimensions; measure; amount; bulk; extent; size.

#### Quality

(archaic) Position; status; rank.

#### Quantity

That which can be increased, diminished, or measured; especially (Math.), anything to which mathematical processes are applicable.

#### Quality

A peasant is not allowed to fall in love with a lady of quality.
Membership of this golf club is limited to those of quality and wealth.

#### Quantity

A determinate or estimated amount; a sum or bulk; a certain portion or part; sometimes, a considerable amount; a large portion, bulk, or sum; as, a medicine taken in quantities, that is, in large quantities.
The quantity of extensive and curious information which he had picked up during many months of desultory, but not unprofitable, study.

#### Quality

(uncountable) The degree to which a man-made object or system is free from bugs and flaws, as opposed to scope of functions or quantity of items.

#### Quantity

How much there is of something that you can quantify

#### Quality

(thermodynamics) In a two-phase liquid–vapor mixture, the ratio of the mass of vapor present to the total mass of the mixture.

#### Quantity

He had a quantity of ammunition

#### Quality

The third step in OPQRST where the responder investigates what the NOI/MOI feels like.
To identify quality try asking, "what does it feel like?".

#### Quantity

Something that has a magnitude and can be represented in mathematical expressions by a constant or a variable

#### Quality

A newspaper with relatively serious, high-quality content.

#### Quantity

Quantity refers to the amount or number of a material or immaterial thing.
The recipe requires a larger Quantity of sugar than I expected.

#### Quality

Being of good worth, well made, fit for purpose; of high quality.
We only sell quality products.
That was a quality game by Jim Smith.
A quality system ensures products meet customer requirements.

#### Quantity

Quantity can indicate a particular portion or measurable amount.
He drank a small Quantity of water during the marathon.

#### Quality

The condition of being of such and such a sort as distinguished from others; nature or character relatively considered, as of goods; character; sort; rank.
We lived most joyful, obtaining acquaintance with many of the city not of the meanest quality.

#### Quality

Special or temporary character; profession; occupation; assumed or asserted rank, part, or position.
I made that inquiry in quality of an antiquary.

#### Quality

That which makes, or helps to make, anything such as it is; anything belonging to a subject, or predicable of it; distinguishing property, characteristic, or attribute; peculiar power, capacity, or virtue; distinctive trait; as, the tones of a flute differ from those of a violin in quality; the great quality of a statesman.

#### Quality

An acquired trait; accomplishment; acquisition.
He had those qualities of horsemanship, dancing, and fencing which accompany a good breeding.

#### Quality

Superior birth or station; high rank; elevated character.
I shall appear at the masquerade dressed up in my feathers, that the quality may see how pretty they will look in their traveling habits.

#### Quality

An essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone;
The quality of mercy is not strained

#### Quality

A degree or grade of excellence or worth;
The quality of students has risen
An executive of low caliber

#### Quality

A characteristic property that defines the apparent individual nature of something;
Each town has a quality all its own
The radical character of our demands

#### Quality

(music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound);
The timbre of her soprano was rich and lovely
The muffled tones of the broken bell summoned them to meet

#### Quality

High social status;
A man of quality

Choice wines
Prime beef
Prize carnations
Quality paper
Select peaches

#### Quality

Of high social status;
People of quality
A quality family

#### Quality

Is Quantity always related to numbers?
Generally, yes – Quantity usually pertains to numerical aspects.

## FAQs

#### Can “Quantity” reflect size as well as number?

Primarily, “Quantity” reflects number, but it can indirectly imply size through measurable amounts.

#### Is there a plural form for "Quantity"?

No, "Quantity" remains the same whether referring to one or multiple instances.

#### Can "Quantity" describe non-physical things?

Absolutely, "Quantity" can describe both tangible and intangible items.

#### How is "Quantity" utilized in mathematics?

In mathematics, "Quantity" refers to an amount or number, which can be definite or indefinite.

#### Can "Quality" be quantified?

It's typically qualitative, but certain contexts may allow for quantitative measurement of quality.

#### Are “Quantity” and “Quality” utilized in economic contexts?

Yes, both terms are used in economics to discuss aspects like production volume and product standards.

#### Is "Quality" used in manufacturing?

Yes, in manufacturing, "Quality" refers to the standard or grade of finished products.

#### Is "Quantity" always related to numbers?

Yes, "Quantity" typically involves numerical measurements or counts.

#### Does "Quality" always denote positive attributes?

No, "Quality" can refer to both positive and negative attributes of something.

#### How are “Quantity” and “Quality” used in academic contexts?

They might describe the number of works produced (Quantity) and the standard of work (Quality).

#### Can both "Quality" and "Quantity" be relative?

Yes, both can be considered relative depending on specific contexts and benchmarks.

#### Is "Quantity" related to "Quality" in any way?

They can relate when discussing production, as increasing quantity might affect quality, and vice versa.

#### Are "Quantity" and "Quality" objective or subjective?

"Quantity" is objective, involving countable measures, while "Quality" can be both objective and subjective.

#### Can "Quantity" and "Quality" impact price in market contexts?

Yes, generally as quantity increases, price may decrease, and higher quality often demands a higher price.

#### How is “Quality” used in a moral context?

In a moral context, “Quality” often denotes characteristics or values, e.g., quality of character.

#### In food industries, how do “Quantity” and “Quality” apply?

"Quantity" may refer to food production volume, while "Quality" pertains to nutritional value, taste, etc.

#### Can "Quality" refer to a trait?

Yes, "Quality" can denote a characteristic or feature of something or someone.

#### Can “Quantity” and “Quality” be utilized in scientific research?

Absolutely, scientists may discuss data "Quantity" (amount) and "Quality" (reliability/accuracy) in research.

#### Can “Quantity” and “Quality” be opposing concepts?

They can be, especially in phrases like “quality over quantity” implying prioritization of one over the other.

#### In retail, how might “Quantity” and “Quality” be balanced?

Retailers often balance producing/supplying large quantities without compromising the quality of goods.