magnitude

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noun mag·ni·tude \ˈmag-nə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of magnitude

  1. 1a :  great size or extent cannot wage a war of such magnitude — A. N. Whitehead the magnitude of an earthquakeb (1) :  spatial quality :  size able to operate only over distances of very small magnitude — G. W. Gray (2) :  quantity, number the savings in amounts of metal … will be of dramatically significant magnitudesAmerican Fabrics

  2. 2 :  the importance, quality, or caliber of something evil of such magnitude as must, if possible, be prevented — Jane Austen a writer of first magnitude — Richard Plant

  3. 3 :  a number representing the intrinsic (see intrinsic 1a) or apparent brightness of a celestial (see 1celestial 2) body on a logarithmic scale in which an increase of one unit corresponds to a reduction in the brightness of light by a factor of 2.512

  4. 4 :  a numerical quantitative measure expressed usually as a multiple of a standard unit

  5. 5 :  the intensity of an earthquake represented by a number on an arbitrary scale a magnitude six earthquake

Examples of magnitude in a Sentence

  1. the magnitude of the issue can scarcely be overstated

  2. the mountain's sheer magnitude usually leaves tourists speechless

Recent Examples of magnitude from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'magnitude'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of magnitude

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin magnitudo, from magnus

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


MAGNITUDE Defined for English Language Learners

magnitude

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noun

Definition of magnitude for English Language Learners

  • : the size, extent, or importance of something

  • : a number that shows the brightness of a star

  • : a number that shows the power of an earthquake


MAGNITUDE Defined for Kids

magnitude

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noun mag·ni·tude \ˈmag-nə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of magnitude for Students

  1. :  greatness of size or importance “How can you term an undertaking of such magnitude mere peddling?” — Lloyd Alexander, Time Cat


Medical Dictionary

magnitude

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noun mag·ni·tude \ˈmag-nə-ˌt(y)üd\

Medical Definition of magnitude

  1. :  relative size or extent



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