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?

3 Answers 3

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

5
  • 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
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 18:15
  • 1
    @Jeremy: in X + 5 = 100 the values 5 and 100 could probably be called dimensionless quantities. Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 18:47
  • 1
    For examples of usage, try these searches of Wikipedia articles: dimensionless quantity and dimensional quantity.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 19:02
  • 4
    @Jeremy: It's very important in scientific contexts to mention that a constant or quantity is dimensionless.
    – jprete
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 22:43
  • Interesting article giving the historical narrative of the evolution of measurement in science -- plato.stanford.edu/entries/measurement-science Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 2:11
2

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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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