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

Example Sentences

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
Inside the blood quantum dilemma facing First Nations. Kelly Meyerhofer, Journal Sentinel, 12 Jan. 2023 In random circuit sampling experiments, researchers start with an array of qubits, or quantum bits. Ben Brubaker, Quanta Magazine, 9 Jan. 2023 Anyone with an internet connection could access the most sophisticated quantum technology in the world. Darío Gil, Fortune, 6 Jan. 2023 Physicists commonly refer to this as the quantum advantage. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 3 Jan. 2023 Such is the consequence of an ever-growing quantum of competitors attempting to play the game that Hallmark and Lifetime perfected with their own ridiculous, smooth-brained holiday cinema. Carrie Wittmer, Vulture, 25 Dec. 2022 In March, Sandbox AQ, a software startup developing quantum-computing and artificial-intelligence tools for commercial use, officially spun off from Alphabet’s Google to become a stand-alone company. Angus Loten, WSJ, 30 Dec. 2022 Stacking different TMDs gives rise to bespoke materials with different quantum properties and behaviors. Natalie Wolchover, Quanta Magazine, 22 Dec. 2022 Steele and Harvard planetary scientist Roger Fu imaged three paper-thin slices of a 0.6-gram Allan Hills sample with Fu’s state-of-the-art quantum diamond microscope. Byzack Savitsky, science.org, 20 Dec. 2022
Adjective
The second is anti-de Sitter Spaces which describes quantum gravity in terms of string theories and often requires many dimensions to do this. The Physics Arxiv Blog, Discover Magazine, 5 Dec. 2022 Meanwhile, quantum gravity researchers have fixated on quantum entanglement for another reason: as the possible source code of the space-time hologram. Natalie Wolchover, Quanta Magazine, 30 Nov. 2022 Three scientists jointly won this year’s Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for their work on quantum information science that has significant applications, for example in the field of encryption. David Keyton And Frank Jordans, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Oct. 2022 Three scientists jointly won this year’s Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for their work on quantum information science that has significant applications, for example in the field of encryption. Dallas News, 4 Oct. 2022 This year’s Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger for their work on quantum information science. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Oct. 2022 The first establishes a new Quantum Advisory Committee to oversee the next stage in the National Quantum Initiative passed in 2018, to further more advances in quantum information science including computing. Arthur Herman, Forbes, 19 May 2022 The Department of Homeland Security believes that a quantum computer could be able to break current encryption methods as soon as 2030. Q.ai - Powering A Personal Wealth Movement, Forbes, 24 Jan. 2023 And because today’s cryptography protocols would be easy work for a quantum computer, researchers have sought new problems to withstand them. Bill Andrews, Quanta Magazine, 21 Dec. 2022 See More

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

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 9 Feb. 2023.

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!


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY