sca·​lar | \ ˈskā-lər How to pronounce scalar (audio) , -ˌlär \

Definition of scalar

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having an uninterrupted series of steps : graduated scalar chain of authority scalar cells
2a : capable of being represented by a point on a scale scalar quantity
b : of or relating to a scalar or scalar product scalar multiplication



Definition of scalar (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a real number rather than a vector
2 : a quantity (such as mass or time) that has a magnitude describable by a real number and no direction

Examples of scalar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In scalar-tensor theories, there are also objects called scalars. Quanta Magazine, 23 Feb. 2022 Since this is a scalar equation, the gravitational force will be negative, meaning downward movement. Rhett Allain, Wired, 15 Oct. 2021 Consequently, the chip could not rise to meet AMD’s high bar for straight-out scalar performance enabled by AMD engineering and TSMC 7nm manufacturing. Karl Freund, Forbes, 6 Apr. 2021 That’s exactly the case that would call for a scalar field. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 19 Mar. 2021 One of Linde’s ideas is that in the early universe, scalar field energy should be constantly created at various magnitudes due to quantum effects. Alan Lightman, The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2021 This instability, which is the hallmark of spontaneous scalarization, is expected to endow the black hole with scalar hair. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 14 Dec. 2020 This helps the 888’s scalar performance improve by 50 percent, Asghar said. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, 2 Dec. 2020 Set things up just right and at large spatial scales, the scalar field interacts only with itself and acts like dark matter. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, 20 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun By placing the scalar, tensor, and vector accelerators next to one another, the workloads can be shared among them. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, 2 Dec. 2020 Their next step is to make more realistic calculations that go beyond elementary scalar fields and incorporate messier forms of matter and radiation. Quanta Magazine, 2 Dec. 2019 Then there is TeVeS (tensor-vector-scalar), MOND’s relativistic cousin. Katia Moskvitch, WIRED, 6 May 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of scalar


circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scalar


Latin scalaris, from scalae stairs, ladder — more at scale entry 5

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The first known use of scalar was circa 1656

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Cite this Entry

“Scalar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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