- Magnitude is defined as large in size or very important.
- An example of magnitude is the depth of the Grand Canyon.
- An example of magnitude is the size of the problem of world hunger.
The great magnitude of the Grand Canyon.
magnitude definition by Webster's New World
- greatness; specif.,
- of size
- of extent
- of importance or influence
- Obsolete of character
- size or measurable quantity: the magnitude of a velocity
- loudness (of sound)
- importance or influence
- Astron. a number representing the apparent brightness of a celestial body: it is part of an unlimited arbitrary scale that ranges from the brightest object, the sun, at -26.72 to the faintest visible object at c. 26: only 22 stars are brighter than 1.5 (first magnitude), while stars c. 6 (sixth magnitude) are barely visible to the naked eye: each increase of one magnitude equals 2.512 times as much brightness (a magnitude increase of 5 is 100 times brighter)
- Geol. a measure of the amount of energy released by an earthquake
- Math. a number given to a quantity for purposes of comparison with other quantities of the same class
Origin: Classical Latin magnitudo ; from magnus, great: see magni-
magnitude definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- a. Greatness of rank or position: “such duties as were expected of a landowner of his magnitude” (Anthony Powell).b. Greatness in size or extent: The magnitude of the flood was impossible to comprehend.c. Greatness in significance or influence: was shocked by the magnitude of the crisis.
- Astronomy The degree of brightness of a celestial body designated on a numerical scale, on which the brightest star has magnitude -1.4 and the faintest visible star has magnitude 6, with the scale rule such that a decrease of one unit represents an increase in apparent brightness by a factor of 2.512. Also called apparent magnitude.
- Mathematics a. A number assigned to a quantity so that it may be compared with other quantities.b. A property that can be described by a real number, such as the volume of a sphere or the length of a vector.
- Geology A measure of the amount of energy released by an earthquake, as indicated on the Richter Scale.
Origin: Middle English, from Old French, size, from Latin magnitūdō, greatness, size, from magnus, great; see meg- in Indo-European roots.
magnitude - Phrases/Idioms
of the first magnitude
of the first magnitude
magnitude - Science Definition
- The degree of brightness of a star or other celestial body, measured on a logarithmic scale in which lower numbers mean greater brightness, such that a decrease of one unit represents an increase in brightness by a factor of 2.512. An object that is 5 units less than another object on the magnitude scale is 100 times more luminous. Because of refinements in measurement after the zero point was assigned, very bright objects have negative magnitudes. ♦ The brightness of a celestial body as seen from Earth is called its apparent magnitude . (When unspecified, an object's magnitude is normally assumed to be its apparent magnitude.) The dimmest stars visible to the unaided eye have apparent magnitude 6, while the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius, has apparent magnitude -1.4. The full Moon and the Sun have apparent magnitudes of -12.7 and -26.8 respectively. ♦ The brightness of a celestial body computed as if viewed from a distance of 10 parsecs (32.6 light-years) is called its absolute magnitude . Absolute magnitude measures the intrinsic brightness of a celestial object rather than how bright it appears on Earth, using the same logarithmic scale as for apparent magnitude. Sirius has an absolute magnitude of 1.5, considerably dimmer than Rigel which, though its apparent magnitude is 0.12, has an absolute magnitude of -8.1. Stars that appear dim in the night sky but have bright absolute magnitudes are much farther from Earth than stars that shine brightly at night but have relatively dim absolute magnitudes. The Sun, a star of only medium brightness, has an absolute magnitude of 4.8. ♦ The degree of total radiation emitted by a celestial body, including all infrared and ultraviolet radiation in addition to visible light, is called its bolometric magnitude . Bolometric magnitude is generally measured by applying a standard correction to an object's absolute magnitude.
- A measure of the total amount of energy released by an earthquake, as indicated on the Richter scale. See more at Richter scale.