# rate of change

## noun phrase

: a value that results from dividing the change in a function of a variable by the change in the variable
velocity is the rate of change in distance with respect to time

## Examples of rate of change in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Calculus is a type of math that focuses on the rate of change over time or a mathematics course taught in high school and college. John Kelly, Washington Post, 29 Oct. 2023 The rate of change is brutally exponential, and the complexity of the world is daunting. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Oct. 2023 End of carousel Although visual arts also experienced drop-offs, the rate of change wasn’t as proportionally drastic. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2023 As a result, the rate of change on board is famously slow. Lila MacLellan, Fortune, 17 Oct. 2023 As if to underline the slow rate of change, the leader of this year’s championship is … Surrey. Victor Mather, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2023 Rob Manfred’s reign as Major League Baseball commissioner has been most notable for its rapid rate of change, achieved through a hard-charging style and accompanied by a dogged determination to keep his bosses – the game’s 30 franchise owners – satisfied. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 26 July 2023 The acceleration tells us the rate of change of velocity—so a zero acceleration means there is no change in velocity. Rhett Allain, WIRED, 7 July 2023 Since 1950, the rate of change is double that at 2.4 degrees per century. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 1 July 2023 See More

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

## Word History

First Known Use

1876, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rate of change was in 1876

rate of change

## Cite this Entry

“Rate of change.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rate%20of%20change. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

## More from Merriam-Webster on rate of change

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!