frequency

noun

fre·​quen·​cy ˈfrē-kwən(t)-sē How to pronounce frequency (audio)
plural frequencies
1
: the fact or condition of occurring frequently
the frequency of automobile accidents
2
a
: 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

Example Sentences

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 What’s the frequency of Workday’s engagement surveys? Fortune, 20 Jan. 2023 Scientists expressed grave concerns about the increasing frequency of the fires brought about by climate change in the Siberian arctic. Heather Chen, CNN, 16 Jan. 2023 Middlesex Health Care Center in Connecticut required it to hire an independent nurse consultant to review and revise assessments of staffing levels and medication administration and monitor the frequency of bed sores. Dave Altimari And Jenna Carlesso, Hartford Courant, 15 Jan. 2023 The relentless frequency of gun violence in America can leave us inured to it and reduce its impact to abstract data. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Jan. 2023 The removable leg pouch makes diaper changes a breeze, which is especially helpful given the frequency of diaper changes in the first few months of a baby’s life. Dallas News, 12 Jan. 2023 The frequency of your visits usually depends on your oral hygiene, daily habits, and individual medical conditions or diagnoses. Felicity Carter, Forbes, 1 Jan. 2023 The account holders will be divided into three groups on the basis of their ordering histories, including frequency of ordering. Steve Thompson, Washington Post, 30 Dec. 2022 Sticking to my two hero brands — Vanicream and CeraVe — and swapping a loofah for a silicone scrubber has done wonders for my skin, decreasing the frequency of my bacne breakouts from frequent to practically nonexistent. Anamaria Glavan, Allure, 24 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of frequency was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near frequency

Cite this Entry

“Frequency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/frequency. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

frequency

noun
fre·​quen·​cy ˈfrē-kwən-sē How to pronounce frequency (audio)
plural frequencies
1
: the fact or condition of happening often
2
: how often something happens : rate of repetition
3
: the number of repetitions of a periodic process in a unit of time: as
a
: the number of times per second that an electric current flowing in one direction changes direction then changes back
a current having a frequency of 60 hertz
b
: the number of waves (as of sound or electromagnetic energy) that pass a fixed point each second
a sound having a frequency of 1500 hertz
the frequency of yellow light
4
: the number or proportion of one kind of item in a group
the frequency of chocolate doughnuts in the box

Medical Definition

frequency

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