Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm looking for a single word to describe the combination of a number and unit. For example, “6 watts” or “2.5 kilometers”. Measurement is the closest I’ve come, but sounds cumbersome. Does anyone know of a better word to express this idea?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The word you want is quantity.

share|improve this answer

You can often just use quantity. However, the term for a number which does not have a unit is dimensionless quantity, and the opposite term is dimensional quantity. So use dimensional quantity when it is important to make the distinction (and you don’t mind using a ten dollar word).

share|improve this answer
    
I'm having trouble imagining a context where it would be important to specify that a quantity is dimensionless or dimensional. Not saying they don't exist, I just can't think of one. –  Jeremy Nov 11 '11 at 18:15
1  
@Jeremy: in X + 5 = 100 the values 5 and 100 could probably be called dimensionless quantities. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Nov 11 '11 at 18:47
1  
For examples of usage, try these searches of Wikipedia articles: dimensionless quantity and dimensional quantity. –  MετάEd Nov 11 '11 at 19:02
3  
@Jeremy: It's very important in scientific contexts to mention that a constant or quantity is dimensionless. –  jprete Nov 11 '11 at 22:43

If OP wants to sound a bit technical, he could call them metrics - a set of measurements that quantify results.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.