quantum leap

plural quantum leaps

Definition of quantum leap

: an abrupt change, sudden increase, or dramatic advance

Note: Quantum leap is rarely used in scientific contexts, but it originated as a synonym of quantum jump, which describes an abrupt transition (as of an electron, an atom, or a molecule) from one discrete energy state to another.

Examples of quantum leap in a Sentence

Prices have taken a quantum leap upward. The new drug is a quantum leap in the fight against cancer.
Recent Examples on the Web In many regards, Henton helped pave the way for multiple quantum leaps for the college. Sarah Cook, al, "Meet the 2019 Women Who Shape the State honorees," 28 Oct. 2019 Woodstock was on a different scale, a few quantum leaps up. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Woodstock’s Contradictions, 50 Years Later," 5 Aug. 2019 Running Bitworld requires quantum leaps in quantum computing, and the world outside slowly turns into the engine running Bitworld. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Neal Stephenson's Latest Book Dodges Its Scariest Premise," 4 June 2019 But the step up to high school varsity, that’s a quantum leap. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, "Ask Sam Farmer: Why is the Steelers’ logo only on one side of the team’s helmets?," 15 Sep. 2019 Gain powerful assistance from innovations that can provide a quantum leap forward. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for Aug. 27, 2019: Taurus, dive into the data stream; Aquarius, expand your knowledge base," 27 Aug. 2019 Still, Finland has made a quantum leap in reducing homelessness. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Why San Diego will never ‘solve’ homelessness," 21 Aug. 2019 The Aviator Grand Touring’s technology, comfort and efficiency are a quantum leap for Lincoln, a brand that for years had little going for it but the bigger Navigator’s size and luxury. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2020 Aviator plug-in hybrid SUV is quantum leap for Lincoln," 20 Aug. 2019 By making a kind of high-speed movie of a quantum leap, the work reveals that the process is as gradual as the melting of a snowman in the sun. Wired, "Physicists See a Quantum Leap, Halt It, and Reverse It," 9 June 2019

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

1956, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of quantum leap was in 1956

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Cite this Entry

“Quantum leap.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quantum%20leap. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for quantum leap

quantum leap


English Language Learners Definition of quantum leap

: a sudden large change, development, or improvement

More from Merriam-Webster on quantum leap

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quantum leap

Comments on quantum leap

What made you want to look up quantum leap? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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