ei·​gen·​val·​ue | \ ˈī-gən-ˌval-(ˌ)yü How to pronounce eigenvalue (audio) \

Definition of eigenvalue

: a scalar associated with a given linear transformation of a vector space and having the property that there is some nonzero vector which when multiplied by the scalar is equal to the vector obtained by letting the transformation operate on the vector especially : a root of the characteristic equation of a matrix

Examples of eigenvalue in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Time and again, regardless of their specific characteristics, the random matrices are found to exhibit that same chaotic yet regular pattern in the distribution of their eigenvalues. Quanta Magazine, "In Mysterious Pattern, Math and Nature Converge," 5 Feb. 2013 The pattern involved a second layer of numbers called eigenvalues, which are like the DNA of a matrix. Quanta Magazine, "Universal Pattern Explains Why Materials Conduct," 6 May 2019 By contrast, the Tracy-Widom curve appears to arise from variables that are strongly correlated, such as interacting species, stock prices and matrix eigenvalues. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "Mysterious Statistical Law May Finally Have an Explanation," 27 Oct. 2014

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

See More

First Known Use of eigenvalue

1927, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eigenvalue

partial translation of German Eigenwert, from eigen own, peculiar + Wert value

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about eigenvalue

Time Traveler for eigenvalue

Time Traveler

The first known use of eigenvalue was in 1927

See more words from the same year

Statistics for eigenvalue

Cite this Entry

“Eigenvalue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eigenvalue. Accessed 23 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on eigenvalue

Britannica English: Translation of eigenvalue for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about eigenvalue

Comments on eigenvalue

What made you want to look up eigenvalue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!