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Magnitude Definition

Other Magnitude Definition

[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

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Misc. Definitions

\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.

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