Definitions for: Magnitude


[n] the property of relative size or extent; "they tried to predict the magnitude of the explosion"
[n] relative importance; "a problem of the first magnitude"
[n] a number assigned to the ratio of two quantities; two quantities are of the same order of magnitude if one is less than 10 times as large as the other; the number of magnitudes that the quantities differ is specified to within a power of 10



Webster (1913) Definition: Mag"ni*tude, n. [L. magnitudo, from magnus great.
See Master, and cf. Maxim.]
1. Extent of dimensions; size; -- applied to things that have
length, breath, and thickness.

Conceive those particles of bodies to be so disposed
amongst themselves, that the intervals of empty
spaces between them may be equal in magnitude to
them all. --Sir I.
Newton.

2. (Geom.) That which has one or more of the three
dimensions, length, breadth, and thickness.

3. Anything of which greater or less can be predicated, as
time, weight, force, and the like.



4. Greatness; grandeur. ``With plain, heroic magnitude of
mind.'' --Milton.

5. Greatness, in reference to influence or effect;
importance; as, an affair of magnitude.

The magnitude of his designs. --Bp. Horsley.

Apparent magnitude (Opt.), the angular breadth of an object
viewed as measured by the angle which it subtends at the
eye of the observer; -- called also apparent diameter.


Magnitude of a star (Astron.), the rank of a star with
respect to brightness. About twenty very bright stars are
said to be of first magnitude, the stars of the sixth
magnitude being just visible to the naked eye. Telescopic
stars are classified down to the twelfth magnitude or
lower. The scale of the magnitudes is quite arbitrary, but
by means of photometers, the classification has been made
to tenths of a magnitude.

Synonyms: order of magnitude

See Also: absolute magnitude, amount, amplitude, bulk, degree, dimension, extent, grade, importance, intensity, intensity level, level, mass, muchness, multiplicity, order, order of magnitude, property, proportion, ratio, size, strength, volume

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