amplitude

noun
am·pli·tude | \-ˌtüd, -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

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 Having an understanding of the tidal timing and amplitude is a first step in creating a kinship with the river. Joseph A. Gambardello, Philly.com, "Those floating balls under Schuylkill Banks boardwalk explained," 12 June 2018 Most light sources produce a mixture of waves with all different physical properties, such as wavelength and amplitude of vibration. Ann Elsner, Smithsonian, "Polaroid Inventor Edwin Land Gave Us More Than Just Instant Photos," 18 May 2018 Wolff measured the amplitude of pulsations of blood vessels in the scalp during migraine attacks and after the administration of a drug that constricted the vessels. R. Allan Purdy, Scientific American, "Can Anything Stop My Migraine?," 1 May 2017 The Quartet played it with a pillowy amplitude that never sacrificed clarity to its big richly burnished sound. Marcus Overton, sandiegouniontribune.com, "From Mozart to Ellington, Harlem Quartet shines for ArtPower at UCSD," 14 Apr. 2018 The researchers tested the electrodes’ function by sending electrical currents through each one at a range of amplitudes. Jamie Ducharme, Fortune, "A Paralyzed Man Can Feel Natural Sensations Again in a Scientific First," 12 Apr. 2018 So, as the light electric field changes amplitude and direction, the electrons feel the force of the field and are driven back and forth. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "How gold nanoparticles may make killing tumors easier," 17 Jan. 2018

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

26 Sep 2018

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

: 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 \

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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