Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang

Richter scale

a scale, ranging from 1 to 10, for indicating the intensity of an earthquake.
Origin of Richter scale
1935-40; after Charles F. Richter (1900-85), U.S. seismologist Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for Richter scale
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The magnitude of an earthquake, usually expressed by the Richter scale, is a measure of the amplitude of the seismic waves.

    Earthquakes Kaye M. Shedlock
British Dictionary definitions for Richter scale

Richter scale

a scale for expressing the magnitude of an earthquake in terms of the logarithm of the amplitude of the ground wave; values range from 0 to over 9 Compare Mercalli scale See also magnitude (sense 5)
Word Origin
C20: named after Charles Richter (1900–85) US seismologist
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for Richter scale

1938, devised by U.S. seismologist Charles Francis Richter (1900-1985).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Richter scale in Science
Richter scale
A logarithmic scale used to rate the strength or total energy of earthquakes. The scale has no upper limit but usually ranges from 1 to 9. Because it is logarithmic, an earthquake rated as 5 is ten times as powerful as one rated as 4. An earthquake with a magnitude of 1 is detectable only by seismographs; one with a magnitude of 7 is a major earthquake. The Richter scale is named after the American seismologist Charles Francis Richter (1900-1985). See Note at earthquake.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Richter scale in Culture
Richter scale [(rik-tuhr)]

A scale used to rate the intensity of earthquakes. The scale is open-ended, with each succeeding level representing ten times as much energy as the last. A serious earthquake might rate six to eight, and very destructive quakes rate higher.

Note: No quake greater than nine has ever been recorded.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for Richter scale

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for Richter

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for richter scale