Definition of frequency in US English:

frequency

noun

  • 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’
    • ‘In fact in the first four weeks of December road traffic offences generally increased in frequency.’
    • ‘These days they meet with increasing frequency.’
    • ‘Those attacks may increase, both in frequency and intensity.’
    • ‘Many scientists believe that the recent increase in hurricane frequency and intensity is due to global warming, which has raised sea temperatures.’
    • ‘Therefore, these mutations would not increase in frequency in the population.’
    • ‘The next goal is to increase frequency, particularly at peak periods.’
    • ‘The forecast is optimistic because of the expansion of the company's operations, increasing the flight frequency and the launch of new routes.’
    • ‘The floods which have devastated York with increasing frequency in recent years have traditionally been blamed on the rain - too much falling, too often.’
    • ‘Alcohol may trigger attacks during the period headaches occur, so avoidance of all alcohol during these periods will reduce headache frequency.’
    • ‘As they moved, droplets of rain began to strike with ever increasing frequency.’
    • ‘An allele that provides better immunity against parasites will increase in frequency within a population.’
    • ‘They recorded whether patients ever committed physical attacks during the observation period, but frequency and severity of violence were not recorded.’
    • ‘Service south of Franklin will run at reduced frequency during that six-hour period.’
    • ‘Rest periods and frequency should be the same as those for increasing muscular strength.’
    • ‘Now, scoring regularly for Wimbledon and playing with increasing frequency for Ireland, he may fulfil the potential he showed as a teenager.’
    • ‘The frequency of landslides has increased in recent years with major slides occurring in 1993, 1995 and 2002.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Headaches are common during childhood and become more common and increase in frequency during adolescence.’
    • ‘Be even more wary if you are given a treatment plan that recommends daily visits that are gradually reduced in frequency over a period of several months.’
    1. 1.1 The fact of being frequent or happening often.
      • ‘Although such things do happen with too great frequency, cases of ‘benign neglect’ are far more common.’
      • ‘As most people are aware, this happens with almost reliable frequency in Namibia.’
      • ‘Laws changed with bewildering frequency, creating temporary advantages for people quick enough to spot them and draining wealth from the slow or unlucky.’
      • ‘Yet it happens with terrible frequency, even thought it is a total ‘no no’.’
      • ‘There are incidents where water supply may be affected for half an hour to an hour, but that is negligible as such incidents are of less frequency.’
      • ‘They wouldn't be miracles if they happened with reliable frequency.’
      • ‘But this has happened with enough frequency to blow away my disbelief.’
      • ‘Now they're trying to work out something where it won't happen with any kind of frequency.’
      • ‘It happened with such frequency that the assistant referee seemed to get confused and gave some close decisions against Bafana.’
      • ‘I took a few courses on statistics and understand how these things can happen, though they seemed to happen with such frequency that it seemed uncanny.’
      • ‘Kids getting born covered in hair happens with some frequency, but they tend to shed it off pretty soon.’
      • ‘That happens with great frequency in the system.’
      • ‘Only 52 per cent actually test their contingency plans with any frequency.’
      • ‘Financial crises occur with frightening frequency.’
      • ‘These things seem to happen with alarming frequency these days.’
      • ‘I was sitting around dwelling on how sad it is when it occurred to me that these small plane crashes happen with numbing frequency.’
      • ‘The fact that it happened with apparent frequency seems like an important detail on many levels.’
      • ‘I wish I could say that this was an isolated occurrence, but it seems to happen with distressing frequency.’
      • ‘It is interesting to ask, ‘why are these attacks happening with such frequency now?’’
      • ‘Secondly, and this happens with remarkable frequency, notwithstanding all the technology at his disposal, the video referee can get it wrong!’
      rate of occurrence, commonness, frequentness, prevalence, incidence, amount
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Statistics The ratio of the number of actual to possible occurrences of an event.
      • ‘Adverse events reported with the frequency of 10% or more at 6 months are listed in Table 3.’
      • ‘The bar graphs represent the ratios of the frequency of individual events in the mutants relative to that of wild-type cells.’
      • ‘Bird occurrence data were summarized as frequency of occurrence of bird species in each category of observation, by type of observation period.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3Statistics The (relative) number of times something occurs in a given sample.
      • ‘Relative basal area, relative frequency and relative density were used to calculate tree canopy importance values.’
      • ‘The relative frequency of individual display types is described below after the display descriptions.’
      • ‘At the population level, offspring sex ratio did not appear to be adjusted in response to the relative frequency of adult males or females in the breeding population.’
      • ‘Each word is scaled to reflect its frequency relative to the words that precede and follow it, giving a visual barometer of relevance.’
      • ‘The frequency of respiring colonies relative to viable colonies was determined after growth at 30° for 3 days.’
  • 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.

    • ‘Because laser light is made up of identical waves of the same frequency, it can travel long distances without scattering.’
    • ‘That is, an infrared spectrum is a plot of the intensity of light absorbed as a function of the frequency of vibration.’
    • ‘The frequency of light emitted from atoms in an excited state is measured in emission spectroscopy.’
    • ‘When the radio-wave frequency causing proton excitation is removed, the protons relax and return to their steady-state orientation.’
    • ‘We hear different sounds because of variations in the sound wave frequency.’
    • ‘Now, physicists in England have demonstrated a topsy-turvy Doppler shift in which a radio wave's frequency rises as the source recedes.’
    • ‘If ten waves are made per second, then the frequency is said to be ten cycles per second, written as 10 cps.’
    • ‘Crucially, this also changes the frequency of the radio waves needed to flip the nucleus.’
    • ‘The electromagnetic spectrum describes all matter as wave frequencies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This can be induced by a microwave field with a frequency that corresponds to the transition between the two lowest atomic states.’
    • ‘We know that electrons in any molecule can only absorb radiation at certain frequencies.’
    • ‘The frequency of gamma rays is far too high and that of radio waves is far too low to interact with these kinds of vibrations.’
    • ‘Thus de Broglie supposed that matter might also be related to the frequency of waves.’
    • ‘A trifield meter measures the electromagnetic frequency in the space around it.’
    • ‘Whether this interference delays or advances the phase of the waves depends on the properties of the atom and the frequency of the wave.’
    • ‘The frequency of this vibration is a function of the cut and shape of the crystal.’
    • ‘Newton concluded that these forms of light vibrate at different frequencies.’
    • ‘Thus, in order to calculate the vibrational frequencies and the rotational constants of a molecule all that is is needed is the input.’
    1. 2.1 The particular waveband at which a radio station or other system broadcasts or transmits signals.
      • ‘All FM radio stations transmit in a band of frequencies between 88 megahertz and 108 megahertz.’
      • ‘This is a measure of how well the antenna will ‘pull in’ a signal at a specific frequency.’
      • ‘Or we can listen to them through radio transmission on a special frequency that's unique for each airport.’
      • ‘Pulses represent any celestial radio signal of a fixed frequency that is distinguishable above the background noise.’
      • ‘Transmitting on the frequency 100.9, the station devotes 60 per cent of its airtime to programmes in Tonga while the rest are in English.’
      • ‘In addition, Moore said, several group leaders were communicating by radio on a frequency the LAPD could monitor.’
      • ‘Radio waves have different frequencies, and by tuning a radio receiver to a specific frequency you can pick up a specific signal.’
      • ‘What started with two women has grown to a network of six women who keep at least two radios on the same frequency at night.’
      • ‘He turned around and adjusted the frequency on his portable radio.’
      • ‘Prior to the establishment of the FCC, anybody with an antenna could send a radio signal on any frequency.’
      • ‘When you enter a road, you set your radio to the assigned frequency and monitor the traffic.’
      • ‘New technology is allowing radio stations to offer digital and analog signals on the same frequency.’
      • ‘Suppose an FM radio station is assigned the broadcast frequency 100 MHz.’
      • ‘One radio was tuned to the tanker-control frequency and the other radio directly to the tanker.’
      • ‘In full-duplex radio, the two transmitters use different frequencies, so both parties can talk at the same time.’
      • ‘After 147 minutes, scientists detected a 20Hz shift in the frequency of the carrier signal, indicating, perhaps, that the probe had landed.’
      • ‘Finally, he tuned his suit's radio to the frequency listed on the cover of the transmitter.’
      • ‘A carrier signal is a continuous signal of a fixed frequency.’
      • ‘This is due in part to the fact that VOA is broadcast only on short-wave frequencies.’
      • ‘In short, it plugs into a headphones jack and transmits the signal over an FM frequency you choose.’

Origin

Mid 16th century (gradually superseding late Middle English frequence; originally denoting a gathering of people): from Latin frequentia, from frequens, frequent- ‘crowded, frequent’.

Pronunciation

frequency

/ˈfrikwənsi//ˈfrēkwənsē/