Richter scale

Rich·​ter scale | \ ˈrik-tər- How to pronounce Richter scale (audio) \

Definition of Richter scale

: an open-ended logarithmic scale for expressing the magnitude of a seismic disturbance (such as an earthquake) in terms of the energy dissipated in it with 1.5 indicating the smallest earthquake that can be felt, 4.5 an earthquake causing slight damage, and 8.5 a very devastating earthquake

First Known Use of Richter scale

1936, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Richter scale

Charles F. Richter

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The first known use of Richter scale was in 1936

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Cite this Entry

“Richter scale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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