quantum

1 of 2

noun

quan·​tum ˈkwän-təm How to pronounce quantum (audio)
plural quanta ˈkwän-tə How to pronounce quantum (audio)
1
b
c
: gross quantity : bulk
2
a
: any of the very small increments or parcels into which many forms of energy are subdivided
b
: any of the small subdivisions of a quantized physical magnitude (such as magnetic moment)

quantum

2 of 2

adjective

1
: large, significant
a quantum improvement
2
: of, relating to, or employing the principles of quantum mechanics
quantum physics

Examples of quantum in a Sentence

Noun the sum of human knowledge is now so immense that even a highly educated person can hope to absorb only a tiny quantum of it
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Typical quantum algorithms start with an ordinary classical bit string and then process it using quantum trickery. Ben Brubaker, Quanta Magazine, 3 June 2024 As career paths like space tourism, quantum software development, and genetic editing gain prominence, the demand for roles such as biostatisticians, quantum cryptographers, even space habitat designers will also increase. Essence, 21 May 2024
Adjective
That means that practically all of quantum cryptography could remain secure even if every problem underpinning classical cryptography turned out to be easy. Ben Brubaker, Quanta Magazine, 3 June 2024 The upshot of this cold atom trap is to create ultrasensitive quantum conditions among the whole aggregation of atoms, which is then a big enough cloud of matter to be able to be manipulated with standard laboratory equipment. IEEE Spectrum, 3 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for quantum 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quantum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Latin, neuter of quantus how much

First Known Use

Noun

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1942, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of quantum was in 1567

Dictionary Entries Near quantum

Cite this Entry

“Quantum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quantum. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

quantum

1 of 2 noun
quan·​tum ˈkwänt-əm How to pronounce quantum (audio)
plural quanta ˈkwänt-ə How to pronounce quantum (audio)
: the smallest amount of many forms of energy (as light)

quantum

2 of 2 adjective
: of or relating to the principles of quantum theory
quantum physics

Medical Definition

quantum

noun
quan·​tum ˈkwänt-əm How to pronounce quantum (audio)
plural quanta ˈkwänt-ə How to pronounce quantum (audio)
1
: one of the very small increments or parcels into which many forms of energy are subdivided
a molecule of rhodopsin in the human eye can cause a response to a single quantum of light
2
: one of the small molecular packets of a neurotransmitter (as acetylcholine) released into the synaptic cleft in the transmission of a nerve impulse across a synapse

More from Merriam-Webster on quantum

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!