magnitude

noun
mag·​ni·​tude | \ ˈmag-nə-ˌtüd How to pronounce magnitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd\

Definition of magnitude

1a : great size or extent cannot wage a war of such magnitude— A. N. Whitehead the magnitude of an earthquake
b(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 : 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 : a number representing the intrinsic (see intrinsic sense 1a) or apparent brightness of a celestial (see celestial entry 1 sense 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 : a numerical quantitative measure expressed usually as a multiple of a standard unit
5 : the intensity of an earthquake represented by a number on an arbitrary scale a magnitude six earthquake

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Examples of magnitude in a Sentence

the magnitude of the issue can scarcely be overstated the mountain's sheer magnitude usually leaves tourists speechless

Recent Examples on the Web

Advertising The researchers said the inland tsunami points to a massive earthquake generated by the asteroid crash, somewhere between a magnitude 10 and 11. Seth Borenstein, The Seattle Times, "Snapshot of extinction: Fossils show day of killer asteroid," 3 Apr. 2019 The first and only of its kind to house such an extensive collection of contemporary art of this magnitude, the over-the-top digs provide guests the opportunity to sleep in a private museum. Christina Liao, Vogue, "Inside the World’s Most Expensive Hotel Suite, Designed by Damien Hirst," 1 Mar. 2019 While the 59-41 vote won’t have immediate policy impact, the magnitude of the 12 GOP defections is a warning about the needless harm Mr. Trump is doing to himself and his party. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump Loses the Senate," 14 Mar. 2019 The sheer magnitude of the crisis is hard to take in, and Shire knows just how fast a person can feel powerless. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Let the Poet Warsan Shire Tell You About the "Bravest Girl in the World"," 8 Mar. 2019 Instant Family uses humor to tackle the foster care system Instant Family captures the magnitude of the challenges of America’s foster care system without being preachy. Christy Tennant Krispin, Vox, "What Mark Wahlberg’s new movie Instant Family gets right and wrong about foster care," 29 Nov. 2018 At the twice-annual gatherings, everyone wears a nametag and dots reflect the magnitude of each attendee's giving. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "David Koch leaving Koch Industries, conservative political network," 5 June 2018 Fuego Is a Very Active Volcano While Volcán de Fuego’s latest eruption is Guatemala’s deadliest in more than 100 years, the eruption was not a surprise, even if its magnitude was. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Five Things to Know About Guatemala’s Deadly Volcanic Eruption," 4 June 2018 But he's also shared with him the magnitude of being the possible heir apparent to Joe Thomas. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com, "Browns sign draft picks Austin Corbett, Damion Ratley and Simeon Thomas," 6 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of magnitude

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for magnitude

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

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Statistics for magnitude

Last Updated

5 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for magnitude

The first known use of magnitude was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for magnitude

magnitude

noun

English Language Learners Definition of magnitude

: 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

noun
mag·​ni·​tude | \ ˈmag-nə-ˌtüd How to pronounce magnitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd\

Kids Definition of magnitude

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

magnitude

noun
mag·​ni·​tude | \ ˈmag-nə-ˌt(y)üd How to pronounce magnitude (audio) \

Medical Definition of magnitude

: relative size or extent

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Comments on magnitude

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