Dimension

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Dimension'

Dimension Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    dimension n
  1. the magnitude of something in a particular direction (especially length or width or height)
  2. a construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished; "self-confidence is not an endearing property" [syn: property, attribute]
  3. one of three cartesian coordinates that determine a position in space
  4. magnitude or extent; "a building of vast proportions" [syn: proportion] v
  5. indicate the dimensions on; "These techniques permit us to dimension the human heart"
  6. shape or form to required dimensions
Dimension Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Dimension \Di*men"sion\, n. [L. dimensio, fr. dimensus, p. p. of dimetiri to measure out; di- = dis- + metiri to measure: cf. F. dimension. See Measure.]
  1. Measure in a single line, as length, breadth, height, thickness, or circumference; extension; measurement; -- usually, in the plural, measure in length and breadth, or in length, breadth, and thickness; extent; size; as, the dimensions of a room, or of a ship; the dimensions of a farm, of a kingdom. Gentlemen of more than ordinary dimensions. --W. Irving. Space of dimension, extension that has length but no breadth or thickness; a straight or curved line. Space of two dimensions, extension which has length and breadth, but no thickness; a plane or curved surface. Space of three dimensions, extension which has length, breadth, and thickness; a solid. Space of four dimensions, as imaginary kind of extension, which is assumed to have length, breadth, thickness, and also a fourth imaginary dimension. Space of five or six, or more dimensions is also sometimes assumed in mathematics.
  2. Extent; reach; scope; importance; as, a project of large dimensions.
  3. (Math.) The degree of manifoldness of a quantity; as, time is quantity having one dimension; volume has three dimensions, relative to extension.
  4. (Alg.) A literal factor, as numbered in characterizing a term. The term dimensions forms with the cardinal numbers a phrase equivalent to degree with the ordinal; thus, a^2b^2c is a term of five dimensions, or of the fifth degree.
  5. pl. (Phys.) The manifoldness with which the fundamental units of time, length, and mass are involved in determining the units of other physical quantities. Note: Thus, since the unit of velocity varies directly as the
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Dimension'


In mathematics and physics, the dimension of a space or object is informally defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point within it. Thus a line has a dimension of one because only one coordinate is needed to specify a point on it. A surface such as a plane or the surface of a cylinder or sphere has a dimension of two because two coordinates are needed to specify a point on it (for example, to locate a point on the surface of a sphere you need both its latitude and its longitude). The inside of a cube, a cylinder or a sphere is three-dimensional because three co-ordinates are needed to locate a point within these spaces.

In physical terms, dimension refers to the constituent structure of all space (cf. volume) and its position in time (perceived as a scalar dimension along the t-axis), as well as the spatial constitution of objects within —structures that have correlations with both particle and field conceptions, interact according to relative properties of mass, and which are fundamentally mathematical in description. These or other axes may be referenced to uniquely identify a point or structure in its attitude and relationship to other objects and events. Physical theories that incorporate time, such as general relativity, are said to work in 4-dimensional "spacetime", (defined as a Minkowski space). Modern theories tend to be "higher-dimensional" including quantum field and string theories. The state-space of quantum mechanics is an infinite-dimensional function space.

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