order of magnitudeorder of magnitude
- Math. any of a series of numbers or quantities each of which is the result of adding a unit to its predecessor's exponent while keeping the same base number, as in scientific notation: in base ten, 10 (10), 100 (10), 1,000 (10), etc. represent consecutive orders of magnitude
- any significant increase or decrease in quantity, value, degree, etc.
order of magnitude
nounpl. orders of magnitude
- An estimate of size or magnitude expressed as a power of ten: Earth's mass is of the order of magnitude of 1022 tons; that of the sun is 1027 tons.
- A range of values between a designated lower value and an upper value ten times as large: The masses of Earth and the sun differ by five orders of magnitude.
(plural orders of magnitude)
- The class of scale or magnitude of any amount, where each class contains values of a fixed ratio (most often 10) to the class preceding it. For example, something that is 2 orders of magnitude larger is 100 times larger, something that is 3 orders of magnitude larger is 1000 times larger, and something that is 6 orders of magnitude larger is a million times larger, because = 100, = 1000, and = a million.
order of magnitude - Computer Definition
A change in quantity or volume as measured by the decimal point. For example, from tens to hundreds is one order of magnitude. Tens to thousands is two orders of magnitude; tens to millions is three orders of magnitude, etc.