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frequency Syllabification: fre·quen·cy
Pronunciation: /ˈfrēkwənsē/

Definition of frequency in English:

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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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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