quantum

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Quantum, quàntum, and quântum

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Late Latin quantum, noun use of neuter form of Latin quantus (how much).

Pronunciation[edit]

Note: in General American, the enunciated form is more common when the word is used on its own; but in connected speech, when it is used as a modifier (as in quantum mechanics), the flapped form is more common.

Noun[edit]

quantum (countable and uncountable, plural quantums or quanta)

  1. (now chiefly South Asia or law) The total amount of something; quantity. [from 17th c.]
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, p. 416:
      The reader will perhaps be curious to know the quantum of this present, but we cannot satisfy his curiosity.
    • 1790, Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, Oxford 2009, p. 142:
      A certain quantum of power must always exist in the community, in some hands, and under some appellation.
    • 1997, Kiran Nagarkar, Cuckold, HarperCollins 2013, p. 375:
      Otherwise I will have given the lie to my maxim that whether you work eight or twenty hours, the quantum of work that gets done on a normal day is the same.
    • 2008, The Times of India, 21 May 2008, [1]:
      The Congress's core ministerial panel on Friday gave its green signal to raising motor fuel prices but the quantum of increase emerged as a hitch.
  2. The amount or quantity observably present, or available. [from 18th c.]
    • 1979, John Le Carré, Smiley's People, Folio Society 2010, p. 96:
      Each man has only a quantum of compassion, he argued, and mine is used up for the day.
    • 1999, Joyce Crick, translating Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, Oxford 2008, p. 34:
      The dream of flying, according to Strümpell, is the appropriate image used by the psyche to interpret the quantum of stimulus [translating Reizquantum] proceeding from the rise and fall of the lungs when the cutaneous sensation of the thorax has simultaneously sunk into unconsciousness.
  3. (physics) The smallest possible, and therefore indivisible, unit of a given quantity or quantifiable phenomenon. [from 20th c.]
    • 2002, David C Cassidy et al., Understanding Physics, Birkhauser 2002, p. 602:
      The quantum of light energy was later called a photon.
  4. (mathematics) A definite portion of a manifoldness, limited by a mark or by a boundary.
    • 1882, William Kingdon Clifford, Mathematical Papers:
      Defined parts of a manifoldness are called Quanta
  5. (law) The amount awarded to a successful party in a lawsuit.
  6. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (law) A brief document provided by the judge, elaborating on a sentencing decision.
  7. (computing) The amount of time allocated for a thread to perform its work in a multithreaded environment.
  8. (computing, uncountable) Short for quantum computing.
    Developing for quantum has never been more accessible.
  9. (medicine) The minimum dose of a pathogen required to cause an infection.
    Synonym: infectious dose

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

quantum (not comparable)

  1. Of a change, sudden or discrete, without intermediate stages.
  2. (informal) Of a change, significant.
  3. (physics) Involving quanta, quantum mechanics or other aspects of quantum physics.
    • 2012 January 1, Michael Riordan, “Tackling Infinity”, in American Scientist[2], volume 100, number 1, page 86:
      Some of the most beautiful and thus appealing physical theories, including quantum electrodynamics and quantum gravity, have been dogged for decades by infinities that erupt when theorists try to prod their calculations into new domains. Getting rid of these nagging infinities has probably occupied far more effort than was spent in originating the theories.
    1. (computing theory) Relating to a quantum computer.
    Antonym: classical

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin quantum.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

quantum m (plural quanta)

  1. (physics) quantum

Further reading[edit]


Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin quantum. Doublet of quanto, which was also re-borrowed with the same meaning as quantum.

Noun[edit]

quantum m (plural quanta)

  1. quantum
    Synonym: quanto

Latin[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

quantum

  1. inflection of quantus:
    1. nominative/accusative/vocative neuter singular
    2. accusative masculine singular

Determiner[edit]

quantum (with genitive)

  1. (when coupled with tantum) as much of [] as
    da mihi tantum aquae quantum vinigive me as much of water as wine
  2. how high, how dear, as dear as

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]

  • quantum”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • quantum”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • quantum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • quantum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[3], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) as far as I can guess: quantum ego coniectura assequor, auguror
    • (ambiguous) as far as I know: quantum scio
    • (ambiguous) I am not dissatisfied with my progress: non me paenitet, quantum profecerim
    • (ambiguous) to take only enough food to support life: tantum cibi et potionis adhibere quantum satis est
  • Dizionario Latino, Olivetti

Portuguese[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unadapted borrowing from English quantum, from Latin quantum. Doublet of quanto.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

quantum m (plural quanta or (uncommon) quantuns)

  1. (physics) quantum (indivisible unit of a given quantity)

Related terms[edit]