Gross

In economics, the term gross means to something before deductions. The word gross not used by itself but is always in conjunction with another word, such as gross income, gross margin, and gross weight.

The use of the word gross in front of the other words quanitifies the next word in that it immediately lets you know that it refers to the total of the term before anything is subtracted or deducted from it.

For example, in gross income, we know that this does not refer to just any kind of income but the total income from all sources before anything is deducted from this total. The gross income, specifically the gross annual income of a person or any entity, is used to compute yearly taxes. Gross income, differs from net income in that deductions such as taxes, social security deductions, etc. are already subtracted from the net income.

The term gross can also refer to the unit, which is equal to a dozen dozen. Hence, gross is equal to 12 x 12 or 144. As a unit, it is often used in commercial context so that anything used with gross is just multiplied by 144. For example, 5 gross of oranges is 720 oranges. A dozen gross is, on the other hand, 1728.

These two uses of gross are very different but are pretty easy to differentiate, making confusing the two unlikely. After all, gross in economics is used with economic terms while gross as a unit is used with numbers or other units.

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