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amplitude

[am-pli-tood, -tyood] /ˈæm plɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
noun
1.
the state or quality of being ample, especially as to breadth or width; largeness; greatness of extent.
2.
large or full measure; abundance; copiousness.
3.
mental range, scope, or capacity.
4.
Physics. the absolute value of the maximum displacement from a zero value during one period of an oscillation.
5.
Electricity. the maximum deviation of an alternating current from its average value.
6.
Astronomy. the arc of the horizon measured from the east or west point to the point where a vertical circle through a heavenly body would intersect the horizon.
7.
Mathematics, argument (def 8b).
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; < Latin amplitūdō. See ample, -i-, -tude
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for amplitude
  • The frequency of the sound is related to the mean grain size and the amplitude is controlled by the surface texture of the grains.
  • But the amplitude and timing of the wobble can reveal a planet's size as well as the shape of its orbit.
  • He does this by watching the waveform of the current flowing to each motor-a product of its frequency and amplitude.
  • To stop the action, the operator lowers the amplitude below another trigger threshold.
  • His dignity of bearing and amplitude of gesture were always admirable.
  • The amplitude and pitch of the buzzing sometimes shifted, and the intervals between tones would fluctuate.
  • So to get around it, the whales first increased the amplitude of its call to keep in touch with other whales during loud periods.
  • The image is then created using the amplitude and some phase data.
  • The bra is useless for supporting anything of amplitude for more than a few minutes.
  • Oscilloscopes measure the frequency and amplitude of alternating-current signals and display them as a moving graph.
British Dictionary definitions for amplitude

amplitude

/ˈæmplɪˌtjuːd/
noun
1.
greatness of extent; magnitude
2.
abundance or copiousness
3.
breadth or scope, as of the mind
4.
(astronomy) the angular distance along the horizon measured from true east or west to the point of intersection of the vertical circle passing through a celestial body
5.
(maths) Also called argument. (of a complex number) the angle that the vector representing the complex number makes with the positive real axis. If the point (x, y) has polar coordinates (r, θ), the amplitude of x + iy is θ, that is, arctan y/x Compare modulus (sense 2) See also Argand diagram
6.
(physics) the maximum variation from the zero or mean value of a periodically varying quantity
Word Origin
C16: from Latin amplitūdō breadth, from amplus spacious
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amplitude
n.

1540s, from Middle French amplitude or directly from Latin amplitudinem (nominative amplitudo) "wide extent, width," from amplus (see ample). Amplitude modulation in reference to radio wave broadcast (as opposed to frequency modulation) first attested 1921, usually abbreviated a.m.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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amplitude in Science
amplitude
  (ām'plĭ-td')   
  1. Physics One half the full extent of a vibration, oscillation, or wave. The amplitude of an ocean wave is the maximum height of the wave crest above the level of calm water, or the maximum depth of the wave trough below the level of calm water. The amplitude of a pendulum swinging through an angle of 90° is 45°. Compare frequency.

  2. Electronics The amount by which a voltage or current changes from zero or an average value.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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amplitude in Culture

amplitude definition


In physics, the height of a crest (or the depth of a trough) of a wave.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for amplitude

in physics, the maximum displacement or distance moved by a point on a vibrating body or wave measured from its equilibrium position. It is equal to one-half the length of the vibration path. The amplitude of a pendulum is thus one-half the distance that the bob traverses in moving from one side to the other. Waves are generated by vibrating sources, their amplitude being proportional to the amplitude of the source

Learn more about amplitude with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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