from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Greatness of rank or position: "such duties as were expected of a landowner of his magnitude” ( Anthony Powell).
- n. Greatness in size or extent: The magnitude of the flood was impossible to comprehend.
- n. Greatness in significance or influence: was shocked by the magnitude of the crisis.
- n. 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.
- n. Mathematics A number assigned to a quantity so that it may be compared with other quantities.
- n. Mathematics A property that can be described by a real number, such as the volume of a sphere or the length of a vector.
- n. Geology A measure of the amount of energy released by an earthquake, as indicated on the Richter Scale.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The absolute or relative size, extent or importance of something.
- n. An order of magnitude.
- n. A number, assigned to something, such that it may be compared to others numerically
- n. Of a vector, the norm, most commonly, the two-norm.
- n. The apparent brightness of a star (on a negative, logarithmic scale); apparent magnitude
- n. A measure of the energy released by an earthquake (e.g. on the Richter scale).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Extent of dimensions; size; -- applied to things that have length, breadth, and thickness.
- n. That which has one or more of the three dimensions, length, breadth, and thickness.
- n. Anything of which greater or less can be predicated, as time, weight, force, and the like.
- n. Greatness; grandeur.
- n. Greatness, in reference to influence or effect; importance.
- n. See magnitude of a star, below.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Greatness; vastness, whether in a physical or a moral sense; grandeur.
- n. Largeness of relation or significance; importance; consequence: as, in affairs of magnitude disdain not to take counsel.
- n. Size, or the property of having size; the extended quantity of a line, surface, or solid; length, area, or volume.
- n. Any kind of continuous quantity which is comparable with extended quantity.
- n. In astronomy, the brightness of a star expressed according to the numerical system used by astronomers for that purpose.
- n. In ancient prosody, the length of a syllable, foot, colon, or meter, expressed in terms of the metrical unit (primary time, semeion, or mora): as, a foot of trisemic magnitude; a colon of icosasemic magnitude.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the property of relative size or extent (whether large or small)
- 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
- n. relative importance
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.
And the Post also forgot to tell its readers that the bad tax stuff is much larger in magnitude than the bad spending stuff they get rid of.
"The problem is just so huge in magnitude that there's no viable solution that can come out of the government to solve it," said Anthony Sanders, a finance professor at George Mason University.
Basically keep bringing back the same idea, but kick it up a few notches or so each time, either in magnitude, refinement, or emotional impact.
But that quake, initially recorded at 9.0 in magnitude, was considerably larger than the latest one.
Why do I have this nagging feeling that the answers (assuming there are any) are going to elicit a few groans, similar in magnitude to "Abraham Lincoln was America's Joseph Stalin" or "John Wayne was gay"?
I do not think that harmful medicine is equal in magnitude to beneficial medicine.
Put another, metaphorical way, American writers tend toward an expressive register commensurate with the open spaces and endless distances of our continent; Perec's magnitude is no less great, but his vastness is essentially urban, highly structured, and by necessity constrained, entailing complex negotiations and yielding delight in serendipity, surprise, and incongruity.