Definition of frequency in English:


Syllabification: fre·quen·cy
Pronunciation: /ˈfrēkwənsē

noun (plural frequencies)

  • 1The rate at which something occurs or is repeated over a particular period of time or in a given sample: shops have closed with increasing frequency during the period
    More example sentences
    • Over time, symptomatic periods may increase in frequency and severity.
    • Poch and Mannering found that the presence of a sight-distance restriction was found to significantly increase accident frequency.
    • Rest periods and frequency should be the same as those for increasing muscular strength.
  • 1.1The fact of being frequent or happening often.
    More example sentences
    • Although such things do happen with too great frequency, cases of ‘benign neglect’ are far more common.
    • The fact that it happened with apparent frequency seems like an important detail on many levels.
    • That happens with great frequency in the system.
    rate of occurrence, incidence, amount, commonness, prevalence; Statistics distribution
  • 1.2 Statistics The ratio of the number of actual to possible occurrences of an event.
    More example sentences
    • The bar graphs represent the ratios of the frequency of individual events in the mutants relative to that of wild-type cells.
    • The aim of induction is to find series of events whose frequency of occurrence converges toward a limit.
    • We also plot the ratio of observed-to-expected frequency for each interval.
  • 1.3 Statistics The (relative) number of times something occurs in a given sample.
    More example sentences
    • Relative basal area, relative frequency and relative density were used to calculate tree canopy importance values.
    • The frequency of respiring colonies relative to viable colonies was determined after growth at 30° for 3 days.
    • The relative frequency of individual display types is described below after the display descriptions.
  • 2The rate at which a vibration occurs that constitutes a wave, either in a material (as in sound waves), or in an electromagnetic field (as in radio waves and light), usually measured per second. (Symbol: f or ν)
    More example sentences
    • The answer, Zuckerwar explains, is that each one generates silent infrasound - long sound waves at a frequency below 20 hertz.
    • The Doppler effect is a change in the frequency of sound waves caused by moving objects.
    • Newton concluded that these forms of light vibrate at different frequencies.
  • 2.1The particular waveband at which a radio station or other system broadcasts or transmits signals.
    More example sentences
    • Suppose an FM radio station is assigned the broadcast frequency 100 MHz.
    • In short, it plugs into a headphones jack and transmits the signal over an FM frequency you choose.
    • Finally, he tuned his suit's radio to the frequency listed on the cover of the transmitter.


mid 16th century (gradually superseding late Middle English frequence; originally denoting a gathering of people): from Latin frequentia, from frequens, frequent- 'crowded, frequent'.

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