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Definition of "magnitude" []

  • Greatness of rank or position: "such duties as were expected of a landowner of his magnitude” ( Anthony Powell). (noun)
  • Greatness in size or extent: The magnitude of the flood was impossible to comprehend. (noun)
  • Greatness in significance or influence: was shocked by the magnitude of the crisis. (noun)
  • 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. (noun)
  • Mathematics A number assigned to a quantity so that it may be compared with other quantities. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "magnitude" in a sentence
  • "If city officials, movers, and shakers made as few mistakes in magnitude and number as Mr. Weston did in his letter, there'd be a lot less grief in Mudville, and Adams never would have made the team."
  • "To give a few examples (in current $, numbers vary by source, but the order of magnitude is always the same):"
  • "The Mount Toba incident, although unprecedented in magnitude, was part of a broad pattern."