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

Tesla said the frequency of the warnings varies based on speed, acceleration, surrounding traffic and other factors. Washington Post, "NTSB: Autopilot flaw, driver inattention caused Tesla crash," 5 Sep. 2019 If a senior dog has increased panting, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, or a change in appetite, thirst, or the frequency of urination, it should be seen by a veterinarian, as these can be symptoms of heart and kidney problems. Texas A&m University, Houston Chronicle, "Pet Talk: The signs of an aging dog," 1 Sep. 2019 Wi-Fi 6, or 802.11ax, is supposed to optimize for the transmission frequencies of both 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands. Wired, "Wi-Fi 6 Will Be Here Soon. What Is It?," 29 Aug. 2019 That includes from the incompetent Mayor of San Juan!’’ Wednesday was the second day in a row Trump had complained about the frequency with which storms have hit the US territory of 3.2 million people, which is again under a hurricane watch. John Wagner,, "Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico and its politicians as the US territory braces for Dorian," 28 Aug. 2019 The apps showed an ad every five minutes, but the people operating the platform had the ability to remotely change the frequency. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "85 Google Play apps with 8 million downloads forced fullscreen ads on users," 19 Aug. 2019 When mother and father return, chicks listen for the unique audio frequency of their parents’ call, allowing them to reunite in a large, noisy crowd. Elissa Nuñez, National Geographic, "Penguins," 16 Aug. 2019 Starting in 2013, the teens—then aged 13-14—answered questions about the frequency of their social-media use and in-person social interaction, as well as their health and demographic profiles. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Social Media Hurts Girls More Than Boys," 13 Aug. 2019 That conclusion mirrors what lead author Benjamin L. Hart found in a similar 2008 survey study looking at the frequency of plant eating in dogs. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Researchers Think They Know Why Cats Eat Grass," 12 Aug. 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

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frequency

The first known use of frequency was in 1600

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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

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Comments on frequency

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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