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Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin magnitudo, from magnus


  • 1 a : great size or extent b (1) : spatial quality : size (2) : quantity, number
  • 2 : the importance, quality, or caliber of something
  • 3 : a number representing the intrinsic or apparent brightness of a celestial body on a logarithmic scale in which an increase of one unit corresponds to a reduction in the brightness of light by a factor of 2.512
  • 4 : a numerical quantitative measure expressed usually as a multiple of a standard unit
  • 5 : the intensity of an earthquake represented by a number on an arbitrary scale <a magnitude six earthquake>