5

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?

8

The word you want is quantity.

6

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).¹

  • 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
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    @Jeremy: in X + 5 = 100 the values 5 and 100 could probably be called dimensionless quantities. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Nov 11 '11 at 18:47
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    For examples of usage, try these searches of Wikipedia articles: dimensionless quantity and dimensional quantity. – MetaEd Nov 11 '11 at 19:02
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    @Jeremy: It's very important in scientific contexts to mention that a constant or quantity is dimensionless. – jprete Nov 11 '11 at 22:43
  • Interesting article giving the historical narrative of the evolution of measurement in science -- plato.stanford.edu/entries/measurement-science – Revlis Lain Jul 7 '16 at 2:11
2

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

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