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[hurts] /hɜrts/
noun, plural hertz, hertzes.
the standard unit of frequency in the International System of Units (SI), equal to one cycle per second.
Abbreviation: Hz.
Origin of hertz
First recorded in 1925-30; named after H. R. Hertz


[hurts, hairts; German herts] /hɜrts, hɛərts; German hɛrts/
[goo s-tahf] /ˈgʊs tɑf/ (Show IPA),
1887–1975, German physicist: Nobel Prize 1925.
Heinrich Rudolph
[hahyn-rikh roo-dawlf] /ˈhaɪn rɪx ˈru dɔlf/ (Show IPA),
1857–94, German physicist.
Related forms
[hurt-see-uh n, hairt-] /ˈhɜrt si ən, ˈhɛərt-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hertz
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We may say that the transmitting aerial, the receiving aerial and the earth form one gigantic hertz oscillator.

    Hertzian Wave Wireless Telegraphy John Ambrose Fleming
  • The former raised his hand, and hertz rode forward and saluted.

    The Princess Dehra John Reed Scott
  • But for the influence of these friends he would possibly be the hero of this story in place of hertz.

  • On this day the entry which we selected was one of Durnell & hertz's string.

    My Adventures with Your Money George Graham Rice
  • It was this fact that Professor hertz discovered, and the waves are sometimes called the hertzian waves.

    Historic Inventions Rupert S. Holland
  • It was at this time, and in Rome, that my first meeting with hertz took place.

    The True Story of My Life Hans Christian Andersen
  • The latter apparatus is in fact almost precisely similar to that which hertz used in his first experiments.

British Dictionary definitions for hertz


noun (pl) hertz
the derived SI unit of frequency; the frequency of a periodic phenomenon that has a periodic time of 1 second; 1 cycle per second Hz
Word Origin
C20: named after Heinrich Rudolph Hertz


/hɜːts; German hɛrts/
Gustav (ˈɡʊstaf). 1887–1975, German atomic physicist. He provided evidence for the quantum theory by his research with Franck on the effects produced by bombarding atoms with electrons: they shared the Nobel prize for physics (1925)
Heinrich Rudolph (ˈhainrɪç ˈruːdɔlf). 1857–94, German physicist. He was the first to produce electromagnetic waves artificially
Derived Forms
Hertzian, 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
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Word Origin and History for hertz


unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second, 1928, named in reference to German physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hertz in Medicine

hertz (hûrts)
n. pl. hertz
Abbr. Hz
A unit of frequency equal to 1 cycle per second.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hertz in Science

The SI derived unit used to measure the frequency of vibrations and waves, such as sound waves and electromagnetic waves. One hertz is equal to one cycle per second. The hertz is named after German physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hertz in Culture
hertz [(hurts)]

The international unit of frequency: one cycle per second. The abbreviation for hertz is Hz.

Note: Household current in the United States is sixty hertz.
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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