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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Either panic attacks or anxiety attacks can rise to the level of disorders, depending on their frequency and severity. Stephanie Dolgoff, Good Housekeeping, "Is It an Anxiety Attack or a Panic Attack? Here’s How to Know, According to Experts," 14 June 2019 But her most memorable, jolting posts are ones that crop up every once in a while, seemingly with no rhyme or reason to their frequency: Britney, alone, pretending to be walking on a runway inside her home. New York Times, "When Britney Spears Posts on Instagram, a Thousand Conspiracies Flower," 12 June 2019 Emgality belongs to a new class of drugs called CGRP inhibitors that are used to prevent migraines or reduce their frequency. NBC News, "FDA approves migraine drug as the first cluster headache treatment," 5 June 2019 The authors also looked at the dynamics of the CCR5-∆32 mutation within the population, looking for signs of evolutionary changes in its frequency. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Target of first human gene editing cuts life expectancy short," 5 June 2019 Nor should a Toyota up your message frequency by 73 percent. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "Put a Jeep in Your Online Dating Profile Now—You'll Get More Messages," 16 May 2019 The tremors in my left hand and left leg are coming with greater intensity and frequency. Todd Stewart,, "I have Parkinson's: Ending my 6-year secret," 14 June 2018 Pick something new to try with each other with whatever frequency feels right to you, like once a week or once a month. Vanessa Marin, Allure, "Ask a Sex Therapist: How Do I Tell My Partner I Fantasize About My Kink During Sex?," 17 May 2018 But soon their intensity and frequency will increase, going from a weekly to a daily occurrence. Jason Duaine Hahn,, "Piano-Playing Mom Sings Sweet Song to 1-Year-Old Son with Rare Terminal Illness," 11 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of frequency

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about frequency

Statistics for frequency

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frequency

The first known use of frequency was in 1600

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on frequency

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


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

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


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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