frequency

noun
fre·​quen·​cy | \ ˈfrē-kwən(t)-sē How to pronounce frequency (audio) \
plural frequencies

Definition of frequency

1 : the fact or condition of occurring frequently the frequency of automobile accidents
2a : the number of times that a periodic function repeats the same sequence of values during a unit variation of the independent variable
b : the number, proportion, or percentage of items in a particular category in a set of data
3 : the number of repetitions of a periodic process in a unit of time: such as
a : the number of complete alternations (see alternation sense 1) per second of an alternating current
b : the number of complete oscillations (see oscillation sense 3) per second of energy (such as sound or electromagnetic radiation) in the form of waves

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Examples of frequency in a Sentence

the alarming frequency of serious automobile accidents caused by young drivers The frequency of student errors was frustrating to the young teacher. Our visits decreased in frequency. Errors were occurring with increasing frequency. a sound wave of high frequency waves having very different frequencies from one another a current having a frequency of 60 hertz a radio frequency of 30 megahertz
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Recent Examples on the Web

The increase has occurred even as many other types of claims—including fire—have declined in frequency, according to industry figures. Leslie Scism, WSJ, "American Homeowners and Their Insurers Face a Flooding Crisis From Within," 7 Mar. 2019 In December 2009, the emails began picking up in frequency. Abby Ellin, Marie Claire, "I Almost Married a Con Man," 8 Jan. 2019 In May, Lars Riecke, an assistant professor of audition and cognitive neuroscience at Maastricht University, explained to The Verge that the variance in frequencies can affect what people hear — and what their ears expect to hear. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Viral "Sesame Street" Clip Has the Internet in Full Debate," 29 Dec. 2018 Investigators have also cited the Doppler shift, or changes in the frequency of radio waves between the satellite and plane during each handshake. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "New Research Might Locate Flight MH370—And Solve One of the Greatest Aviation Mysteries of All Time," 7 Dec. 2018 Since lung cancer often develops over decades, any decrease in the disease's frequency from declining smoking rates likely won't be seen for years. Fox News, "18 million new cancer cases this year: WHO," 12 Sep. 2018 In contrast, lightning on Earth can produce gigahertz radio waves, which are millions of times higher in frequency. Charles Q. Choi, Scientific American, "Surprise! Jupiter’s Lightning Looks a Lot Like Earth’s," 7 June 2018 Smaller markets have seen a sharp rise in the frequency of bidding wars for homes (defined as multiple buyers submitting offers over the asking price of a home). Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Homebuying today: Fewer homes, higher prices, and faster deals," 15 May 2018 Atomic clocks keep time by referring to the frequency of light emitted by a specific atom. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A New Way To Build Atomic Clocks Could Make GPS Even Better," 12 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frequency.' 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 frequency

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for frequency

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for frequency

The first known use of frequency was in 1600

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More Definitions for frequency

frequency

noun
fre·​quen·​cy | \ ˈfrē-kwən-sē How to pronounce frequency (audio) \
plural frequencies

Kids Definition of frequency

1 : frequent repetition Rain fell with frequency.
2 : rate of repetition She went with increasing frequency.
3 : the number of waves of sound or energy that pass by a point every second Tune the stereo to receive a specific frequency of radio waves.

frequency

noun
fre·​quen·​cy | \ ˈfrē-kwən-sē How to pronounce frequency (audio) \
plural frequencies

Medical Definition of frequency

1 : the number of individuals in a single class when objects are classified according to variations in a set of one or more specified attributes
2 : the number of repetitions of a periodic process in a unit of time

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