from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. 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.
- n. 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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. 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.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- 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. a degree in a continuum of size or quantity
Sorry, no etymologies found.
“I did know some number of constellations just because I had a curiosity about the subject, but certainly the Morehead experience was excellent in bringing everybody up one order of magnitude in their ability to recognize the stars and constellations,” paramount in the Gemini program for navigational computations and astronomy-related experiments.