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 district also did not respond to requests for information concerning the frequency of testing for staff who currently remain unvaccinated. oregonlive, 18 Sep. 2021 The frequency of these deaths could be ticking up nationally. Jason Hanna, CNN, 17 Sep. 2021 This is in line with data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) over the last 40 years, which shows that the frequency of extreme weather events is rapidly increasing. George Schultze, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 Data on the frequency of long-term effects of COVID-19 varies widely, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ranging from about 5% to 80% of infections. Alexander Tin, CBS News, 16 Sep. 2021 The frequency of eviction filings has only increased during the pandemic, with 751 cases filed in Indianapolis during the week of Aug. 29-Sept. 5, according to the Eviction Lab. Binghui Huang, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Sep. 2021 In fact, the frequency of hurricanes making landfall in the continental U.S. has declined slightly since 1900. Bjorn Lomborg, WSJ, 3 Sep. 2021 Lander said the nation must prepare not only for the increasing frequency of biological threats by increasing stockpiles but must also improve the science and technology to respond. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, 3 Sep. 2021 The growing frequency of big storms, wildfires and floods marks a notable shift for those who have been looking to explain what a warmer planet will look like. Justin Worland, Time, 2 Sep. 2021

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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Learn More About frequency

Time Traveler for frequency

Time Traveler

The first known use of frequency was in 1600

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Dictionary Entries Near frequency



frequency band

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Statistics for frequency

Last Updated

22 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Frequency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for frequency


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.


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

More from Merriam-Webster on frequency

Nglish: Translation of frequency for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frequency for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about frequency


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