Dictionary

decibel

noun deci·bel \ˈde-sə-ˌbel, -bəl\

: a unit for measuring how loud a sound is

Full Definition of DECIBEL

1
a :  a unit for expressing the ratio of two amounts of electric or acoustic signal power equal to 10 times the common logarithm of this ratio
b :  a unit for expressing the ratio of the magnitudes of two electric voltages or currents or analogous acoustic quantities equal to 20 times the common logarithm of the voltage or current ratio
2
:  a unit for expressing the relative intensity of sounds on a scale from zero for the average least perceptible sound to about 130 for the average pain level
3
:  degree of loudness; also :  extremely loud sound —usually used in plural

Examples of DECIBEL

  1. a rock concert blasting music at 110 decibels
  2. <the crowd decibels increased dramatically as the horses neared the finish line>

Origin of DECIBEL

International Scientific Vocabulary deci- + bel
First Known Use: 1928
DECIBEL Defined for Kids

decibel

noun deci·bel \ˈde-sə-ˌbel, -bəl\

Definition of DECIBEL for Kids

:  a unit for measuring the loudness of sounds
Medical Dictionary

decibel

noun deci·bel \ˈdes-ə-bəl, -ˌbel\

Medical Definition of DECIBEL

1
a :  a unit for expressing the ratio of two amounts of electric or acoustic signal power equal to 10 times the common logarithm of this ratio b :  a unit for expressing the ratio of the magnitudes of two electric voltages or currents or analogous acoustic quantities equal to 20 times the common logarithm of the voltage or current ratio
2
:  a unit for expressing the relative intensity of sounds on a scale from zero for the average least perceptible sound to about 130 for the average pain level

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