amplitude

noun
am·​pli·​tude | \ ˈam-plə-ˌtüd How to pronounce amplitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd \

Definition of amplitude

1 : the extent or range of a quality, property, process, or phenomenon: such as
a : the extent of a vibratory movement (as of a pendulum) measured from the mean position to an extreme
b : the maximum departure of the value of an alternating current or wave from the average value
2 : extent of dignity, excellence, or splendor
3 : the quality or state of being ample : fullness, abundance … the long unerring lines, the sweep and amplitude of the great artist's stroke …— Edith Wharton
4 mathematics : the angle assigned to a complex number when it is plotted in a complex plane using polar coordinates

called also argument

— compare absolute value sense 2
5 : the height achieved on a jump by a snowboarder, skateboarder, skier, etc. " … a lot of my strength in snowboarding is my amplitude … "— Shaun White

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Examples of amplitude in a Sentence

the amplitude of Thomas Jefferson's interests—government, architecture, agriculture, science, philosophy—is truly awesome
Recent Examples on the Web The undulations vary in both wavelength and amplitude. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs. 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD: Crossover Torture Test," 4 June 2020 An example of the use of a log scale is for the amplitude (or wiggle) of earthquakes. New York Times, "What’s Going On in This Graph? | Coronavirus Outbreak," 27 Feb. 2020 Anker got his start as a climber on California granite, then gravitated toward the icy amplitude of the Himalayas, before becoming a pioneer of a new kind of challenge: high-altitude big walls. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Survivor’s Guilt in the Mountains," 24 Feb. 2020 What the song does convey, unambiguously, is a kind of maniacal amplitude. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Misfit Awesomeness of Neil Peart and Rush," 11 Jan. 2020 Documenting these relics helped the team replicate the amplitude and frequency of the corrugations. John Freeman Gill, New York Times, "A Slice of the Fulton Fish Market Gets A New Life," 28 Feb. 2020 That's because the goal of these scientists was not to eliminate drag but reduce the amplitude of water waves within a channel. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Novel “invisibility cloaks” for water waves leave no telltale wakes or drag," 13 Aug. 2019 In March, the high slopes feel like a warm coast with the wide-open reflected light and the amplitude of snow so much like waves. Anchorage Daily News, "During the pandemic, nature calls (where there are no doorknobs, faucets and handles that have been touched by others)," 14 Mar. 2020 The amplitudes are converted to log values (the Richter scale) and then plotted on a log scale. New York Times, "What’s Going On in This Graph? | Coronavirus Outbreak," 27 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amplitude.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of amplitude

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for amplitude

see ample

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Learn More about amplitude

Time Traveler for amplitude

Time Traveler

The first known use of amplitude was in 1542

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Statistics for amplitude

Last Updated

27 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Amplitude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amplitude. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for amplitude

amplitude

noun
How to pronounce amplitude (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of amplitude

technical : a measurement that indicates the movement or vibration of something (such as a sound wave or a radio wave)

amplitude

noun
am·​pli·​tude | \ ˈam-plə-ˌt(y)üd How to pronounce amplitude (audio) \

Medical Definition of amplitude

1 : the extent or range of a quality, property, process, or phenomenon: as
a : the extent of a vibratory movement (as of a pendulum) measured from the mean position to an extreme
b : the maximum departure of the value of an alternating current or wave from the average value

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More from Merriam-Webster on amplitude

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for amplitude

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with amplitude

Britannica English: Translation of amplitude for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about amplitude

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