amplitude

noun
am·​pli·​tude | \ -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

Analysis by the Bank for International Settlements shows that since the 1980s the financial cycle, in which credit growth fuels a subsequent bust, has grown in amplitude but has kept its length at about 15-20 years. The Economist, "For how long can today’s global economic expansion last?," 12 July 2019 Gravitational waves travel at the speed of light, but since the detectors are so far apart, there should be a slight time lag and a small adjustment in amplitude to account for the curvature of the Earth. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "No more doubts: Two independent studies confirm LIGO’s Nobel discovery," 16 Dec. 2018 When two particles are entangled, the complex probability amplitudes that describe their properties are intertwined. Quanta Magazine, "The Universe’s Ultimate Complexity Revealed by Simple Quantum Games," 5 Mar. 2019 If the axions hit the swing with the right time delay, then the swing will start to swing at its natural frequency, and the amplitude will grow. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Pulsars could convert dark matter into something we could see," 20 Dec. 2018 But skin is quite sensitive to shifts in intensity and amplitude, and that's what the M:NI system exploits. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New wearable tech lets users listen to live music through their skin," 25 Nov. 2018 And amplitudes can be positive or negative, so the sum is not necessarily bigger. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "New form of qubit control may yield longer computation times," 25 Jan. 2018 Light is considered polarized if the amplitude varies in a consistent manner perpendicular to the direction the wave is traveling. Ann Elsner, Smithsonian, "Polaroid Inventor Edwin Land Gave Us More Than Just Instant Photos," 18 May 2018 Preamp Tubes: Increase the amplitude of the audio signal from the guitar and send it to circuits that introduce effects like reverb and tremolo. 7. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "What a Fender Amp Looks Like When You Tear It Apart," 24 Mar. 2015

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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Statistics for amplitude

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for amplitude

The first known use of amplitude was in 1542

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More Definitions for amplitude

amplitude

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with amplitude

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for amplitude

Britannica English: Translation of amplitude for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about amplitude

Comments on amplitude

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