\ ˈhərts How to pronounce hertz (audio) , ˈherts How to pronounce hertz (audio) \
plural hertz

Definition of hertz

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second abbreviation Hz


biographical name (1)
\ ˈherts How to pronounce Hertz (audio) , ˈhərts\

Definition of Hertz (Entry 2 of 3)

Gustav Ludwig 1887–1975 German physicist


biographical name (2)

Definition of Hertz (Entry 3 of 3)

Heinrich Rudolf 1857–1894 German physicist

Examples of hertz in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

All across the United States, the power grid operates at 60 hertz, its innumerable tributaries of alternating current synchronizing of their own accord. Quanta Magazine, "Scientists Discover Exotic New Patterns of Synchronization," 4 Apr. 2019 Frequency is measured in hertz (Hz), or the number of sound waves per second. Ben Finio, Scientific American, "Make Sprinkles Dance," 31 May 2018 But some scientists looked at what could happen without the time correction rule and concluded clocks could gradually go off-kilter if the grid's power was delivered consistently at higher or lower rates than 60 hertz. Seth Borenstein, USA TODAY, "Running late? Clocks may go a little cuckoo with change to power grid maintenance rules," 17 May 2018 The title of hacker magazine 2600 is a tip of the hat to 2600 hertz, the frequency old-school hackers reproduced to trick AT&T phone lines into giving them free calls. Robert Mcmillan, WSJ, "You Think Discovering a Computer Virus Is Hard? Try Naming One," 11 Apr. 2018 Here’s the spectrogram for the yanny/laurel recording: Higher frequencies (up to 5,000 hertz, or waves per second) appear toward the top, and lower ones (down to zero) toward the bottom. Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, "A Linguist Explains Why 'Laurel' Sounds Like 'Yanny'," 15 May 2018 Someone with a grating voice is likely to have strong overtones in the range that humans are particularly sensitive to, around 3,000 hertz. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, "What Makes One Voice Shrill, Another Sweet?," 11 Apr. 2018 In technical terms, power systems in Europe, and much of Asia and Africa, run on alternating current at 50 hertz, meaning that the flow of electricity changes directions 50 times per second. Valerie Hopkins And Richard PÉrez-peÑa, New York Times, "Clocks Slow in Europe? Blame Kosovo-Serbia Row," 8 Mar. 2018 Monica Gagliano at the University of Western Australia has gathered evidence that some plants may also emit and detect sounds, and in particular, a crackling noise in the roots at a frequency of 220 hertz, inaudible to humans. Diàna Markosian, Smithsonian, "Do Trees Talk to Each Other?," 22 Feb. 2018

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


circa 1928, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hertz


Heinrich R. Hertz

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hertz

Statistics for hertz

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hertz

The first known use of hertz was circa 1928

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hertz



English Language Learners Definition of hertz

technical : a unit used for measuring the frequency of sound waves


\ ˈhərts How to pronounce hertz (audio) , ˈherts How to pronounce hertz (audio) \

Medical Definition of hertz

: a unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second abbreviation Hz

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on hertz

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hertz

Spanish Central: Translation of hertz

Nglish: Translation of hertz for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hertz

Comments on hertz

What made you want to look up hertz? 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”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!