from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Greatness of size; magnitude.
  • noun Fullness; copiousness.
  • noun Breadth or range, as of intelligence.
  • noun Astronomy The angular distance along the horizon from true east or west to the intersection of the vertical circle of a celestial body with the horizon.
  • noun Physics The maximum absolute value of a periodically varying quantity.
  • noun The maximum absolute value of a periodic curve measured along its vertical axis.
  • noun The angle made with the positive horizontal axis by the vector representation of a complex number.
  • noun Electronics The maximum absolute value reached by a voltage or current waveform.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or quality of being ample in size; extension in space, especially breadth or width; largeness; extent.
  • noun The state of being ample in amount; breadth in a figurative sense; fullness; abundance; copiousness.
  • noun Largeness of mind; extent of mental capacity or of intellectual power; breadth of thought.
  • noun In mathematics: In algebra, a positive real number multiplied by a root of unity. The positive real number is said to be the amplitude of the product. In elliptic integrals, the limit of integration when the integral is expressed in the usual trigonometric form.
  • noun In astronomy, the arc of the horizon intercepted between the east or west point and the center of the sun or of a star at its rising or setting.
  • noun the angle whose tangent is the hyperbolic sine of u.
  • noun In function theory, if x = ξ + in, let the polar coördinates of (ξ, η) be ρ, θ, then any one of the angles θ or θ + 2nπ, where n is any positive or negative integer, may be called the amplitude of x.
  • noun In meteorology, the range or difference between the maximum and minimum values of the temperature, pressure, or other meteorological element within a definite time, such as a day, a month, or a year.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun State of being ample; extent of surface or space; largeness of dimensions; size.
  • noun Largeness, in a figurative sense; breadth; abundance; fullness.
  • noun Of extent of capacity or intellectual powers.
  • noun Of extent of means or resources.
  • noun The arc of the horizon between the true east or west point and the center of the sun, or a star, at its rising or setting. At the rising, the amplitude is eastern or ortive: at the setting, it is western, occiduous, or occasive. It is also northern or southern, when north or south of the equator.
  • noun The arc of the horizon between the true east or west point and the foot of the vertical circle passing through any star or object.
  • noun (Gun.) The horizontal line which measures the distance to which a projectile is thrown; the range.
  • noun (Physics) The extent of a movement measured from the starting point or position of equilibrium; -- applied especially to vibratory movements.
  • noun (math.) An angle upon which the value of some function depends; -- a term used more especially in connection with elliptic functions.
  • noun the angular distance of a heavenly body, when on the horizon, from the magnetic east or west point as indicated by the compass. The difference between the magnetic and the true or astronomical amplitude (see 3 above) is the “variation of the compass.”

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The measure of something's size, especially in terms of width or breadth; largeness, magnitude.
  • noun mathematics The maximum absolute value of the vertical component of a curve or function, especially one that is periodic.
  • noun physics The maximum absolute value of some quantity that varies.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (physics) the maximum displacement of a periodic wave
  • noun the property of copious abundance
  • noun greatness of magnitude


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin amplitūdō, from amplus, large.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle French amplitude, from Latin amplitudo, from amplus ("large"); see ample and -tude.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word amplitude.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Amplitude is a word sensory experts use to describe flavors that are well blended and balanced, that "bloom" in the mouth. (Gladwell)

    December 7, 2009