Definition of order of magnitude in English:

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order of magnitude


1A class in a system of classification determined by size, each class being a number of times (usually ten) greater or smaller than the one before: values might be compared by order of magnitude, a staple in making ballpark estimates
More example sentences
  • To measure changes that take place in about a femtosecond, they needed something they could characterize in attoseconds, an order of magnitude lower than existing systems.
  • As late as 1997 unemployment rates remained over 10 per cent, an order of magnitude higher than in the golden age of the 1960s and more than twice the rates of the United States.
  • Both these estimates were an order of magnitude too small, but the fault was in Aristarchus's lack of accurate instruments rather than in his correct method of reasoning.
1.1Relative size, quantity, quality, etc. the new problems were of a different order of magnitude
More example sentences
  • We are dealing with a different order of magnitude of threat.
  • I was bowled away by the band's performance last year, but this was a different order of magnitude.
  • But Mont Pincon was different, the same sort of battle but of a different order of magnitude.
1.2The arrangement of a number of items determined by their relative size: the items are arranged in ascending order of magnitude
More example sentences
  • Write the sequence in ascending order of magnitude beginning with the smallest.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: or·der of mag·ni·tude

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