Definition of magnitude in English:


Syllabification: mag·ni·tude
Pronunciation: /ˈmagnəˌto͞od


  • 1The great size or extent of something: they may feel discouraged at the magnitude of the task before them
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    • Proposing the means by which this group psychopathology can be overcome is a task of magnitude beyond the scope of this work.
    • Do we know how - what the extent of the magnitude of this disaster is yet, or are we still finding things out?
    • One would have thought that a story of this magnitude would warrant extensive media coverage but no, the silence is deafening.
  • 1.1Great importance: events of tragic magnitude
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    • Does an event of this magnitude necessarily have momentous causes stretching far back in French history?
    • They came to Everett Mall to face the overwhelming pressure, cutthroat competition and public humiliation only an event of this magnitude can provide.
    • He said it was important to emphasise that the November 14 flooding was ‘an event of extraordinary magnitude.’
  • 2Size: electorates of less than average magnitude
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    • Asset deflation of this magnitude for the average American is thus very painful.
    • The magnitude of all species activity at the still water site on Brier Island was one-third the average magnitude of activity at still water sites at Kejimkujik National Park.
    • This correlation may have been increased when few extreme animals per family were selected, because the average magnitude of residual effects was likely increased.
  • 2.1A numerical quantity or value: the magnitudes of all the economic variables could be determined
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    • Determining meaningful qualitative values for the magnitudes of quantities is a difficult task when building qualitative models about populations.
    • He proposed the use of a graph for plotting a variable magnitude whose value depends on another variable.
    • The level of the moral and psychological state is calculated as an arithmetic mean value of the magnitudes of the corresponding indicators with account taken of their weight coefficients.
  • 3The degree of brightness of a star. The magnitude of an astronomical object is now reckoned as the negative logarithm of the brightness; a decrease of one magnitude represents an increase in brightness of 2.512 times. A star with an apparent magnitude of six is barely visible to the naked eye. See also apparent magnitude, absolute magnitude.
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    • Mars now appears as a moderately bright yellowish-orange star of magnitude + 1.2.
    • At midmonth the ringed planet appears as a bright yellow-white ‘star’ shining at magnitude 0.3.
    • It appears as a very bright yellowish-white ‘star’ shining at magnitude 0.1 at midmonth.
  • 3.1The class into which a star falls by virtue of its brightness.
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    • Neither fish is brightly illuminated, with only three of the constellation stars appearing slightly brighter than 4th magnitude.
    • Cancer is a constellation with few stars, none brighter than 4th magnitude.
    • Labrum, though only 4th magnitude, is the brightest.
  • 3.2A difference of one on a scale of brightness, treated as a unit of measurement.
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    • Mercury will be positioned above and to the right of Saturn on the evening of May 6 and will appear nearly one full magnitude brighter.


of the first magnitude

see first.


late Middle English (also in the sense 'greatness of character'): from Latin magnitudo, from magnus 'great'.

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Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody