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 Each whole number increase — from, say, 3 to 4, or 6 to 7 — is a tenfold increase in amplitude. Madalyn Amato, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2021 The typical variations that are actually observed in the cosmic microwave background radiation had an initial amplitude that is a hundred thousand times smaller than needed to make black holes. Avi Loeb, Scientific American, 6 June 2021 Finally, the amplitude (or height) of the detected wave can reveal how far the system is from our telescopes on Earth. Steve Nadis, Wired, 23 May 2021 The magnitude of the masses, the separation of the masses, and the speed of the masses moving through that curved spacetime determines the amplitude, frequency, and energy emitted through gravitational radiation. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 5 May 2021 Further, pulse amplitude will be increased up to +/-3V, 150% higher than available on most pulsing equipment today. Tom Coughlin, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 The development team says particular attention was paid to improving the SVR's ride over high-frequency bumps, although at lower speeds and over large-amplitude undulations the ride did feel firm. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 1 Mar. 2021 The whole idea of vault is to get enough momentum to perform a trick but have enough amplitude to drop straight down for the landing. The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 Mar. 2021 Determining the direction reveals the exact amplitude of the waves. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, 24 Mar. 2016

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

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Latin amplitūdin-, amplitūdō "size, extent, eminence, prestige," from amplus "more than adequate in size or extent, ample, eminent" + -i- -i- + -tūdin-, -tūdō -tude

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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

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Amplitude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amplitude. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on amplitude

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for amplitude

Britannica English: Translation of amplitude for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about amplitude

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