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noun Electricity.
  1. the centimeter-gram-second unit of magnetic induction, equal to the magnetic induction of a magnetic field in which one abcoulomb of charge, moving with a component of velocity perpendicular to the field and equal to one centimeter per second, is acted on by a force of one dyne; 1 maxwell per square centimeter or 10−4 weber per square meter. Symbol: G
  2. (formerly) oersted(def 1).

Origin of gauss

First recorded in 1880–85; named after K. F. Gauss


  1. Karl Frie·drich [kahrl free-drikh] /kɑrl ˈfri drɪx/, 1777–1855, German mathematician and astronomer.
Related formsGauss·i·an, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gauss

Historical Examples

  • Gauss also devoted much of his time to acquiring the ancient and modern languages.

    Heroes of the Telegraph

    J. Munro

  • In 1819, Gauss measured a degree of latitude between Gottingen and Altona.

  • In mathematics do you look upon Euler, Laplace, or Gauss as fools?

    Virgin Soil

    Ivan S. Turgenev

  • Its distance from the sun as determined by Gauss was 2·767 times the earth's distance.

  • The lay journals say Gauss had no failures, but he himself should know.

British Dictionary definitions for gauss


noun plural gauss
  1. the cgs unit of magnetic flux density; the flux density that will induce an emf of 1 abvolt (10 –8 volt) per centimetre in a wire moving across the field at a velocity of 1 centimetre per second. 1 gauss is equivalent to 10 –4 tesla

Word Origin

after Karl Gauss


  1. Karl Friedrich (karl ˈfriːdrɪç). 1777–1855, German mathematician: developed the theory of numbers and applied mathematics to astronomy, electricity and magnetism, and geodesy
Derived FormsGaussian (ˈɡaʊsɪən), adjective
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

Word Origin and History for gauss

C.G.S. unit of intensity of a magnetic field, 1882, named for German mathematician Karl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855). Related: Gaussage.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gauss in Medicine


n. pl. gauss
  1. The centimeter-gram-second unit of magnetic induction.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

gauss in Science


  1. The unit of magnetic flux density in the centimeter-gram-second system, equal to one maxwell per square centimeter, or 10-4 tesla.


  1. German mathematician, astronomer and physicist who introduced significant and rapid advances to mathematics with his contributions to algebra, geometry, statistics and theoretical mathematics. He also correctly calculated the orbit of the asteroid Ceres in 1801 and studied electricity and magnetism, developing the magnetometer in 1832. The gauss unit of magnetic flux density is named for him.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.