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Richter scale

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noun
  1. a scale, ranging from 1 to 10, for indicating the intensity of an earthquake.
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Origin of Richter scale

1935–40; after Charles F. Richter (1900–85), U.S. seismologist
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for richter scale

Richter scale

noun
  1. 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 9Compare Mercalli scale See also magnitude (def. 5)
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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

Word Origin and History for richter scale

Richter scale

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

richter scale in Science

Richter scale

[rĭktər]
  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.

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Note

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