Is there any significant reason why "volume" is the name given to the total turnover of trades?

What's the etymology?


1 Answer 1


The word comes from old French, where it can mean several things including some metric on the "mass" or "amount" of something (like merchandise). It has several other meanings in modern French, it can also mean a "book" for example.

If you read French: VOLUME, subst. masc. Section II, C, 2, b):

b) [À propos d'une réalité abstr. ayant trait le plus souvent au comm., à l'écon.] Volume des achats, des affaires, du commerce extérieur, du crédit, des dépenses, des exportations, de la production, des ventes. Le volume d'investissements paraît relativement important et l'instauration du marché commun a certainement incité les caoutchoutiers à accroître leur capacité de production (Industr. fr. du caoutch., 1965, p. 50).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ah that makes sense. In the English dictionary it’s defined as the space that an object occupies, a measure of sound or, a book. But the french definition ALSO includes “quantities” of things as part of the definition. $\endgroup$
    – cookiekid
    Nov 5, 2021 at 0:17

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