Voluptuous vs voluminous

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Voluptuous, besides being commonly misspelled and mispronounced, is an adjective that describes something or someone as appealing to the senses (e.g., sight, touch, taste). Most commonly it is used to describe a woman’s physique as visually appealing.

The adverb and noun forms are voluptuously and voluptousness, respectively.

Voluminous is an adjective that describes something or someone as extremely big or taking up a lot of space. It is most commonly used in reference to clothing, fabric, pages in a book, or words in a speech.

The adverb and noun forms are voluminously and voluminousness, respectively.


My mom was always a little bit more voluptuous and my sister was really super-super skinny and she’s a ballet dancer, so I liked to dress them both. [The Denver Post]

Strauss’s voluptuously romantic score is a glory of its time, as seductive and, at times, as brutally violent as its heroine. [Belfast Telegraph]

The only drawback of the two hour-long improvisations – clearly no one has told The Necks’ audience about the age of the short attention span – was that, having flirted with varying levels of sonic voluptuousness and luxuriance, both became essays in density. [Sydney Morning Herald]

There was more of the silhouette play Lyons so loves, with oversized trousers (in fact, it’s hard to tell the gray pieces are, in fact, pants and not voluminous skirts) and cropped mixed-material cargo pants. [Forbes]

He read voluminously — “Moby-Dick,” “Ulysses,” “On the Road” — wrote his first stories and got his first rejection slips. [The New York Times]

Predictably, given the abundance of writers, the infinite space and the negligible cost of production, the site quickly surpassed the voluminousness of even the longest encyclopedias. [Toronto Star]