n. pl. quan·ta (-tə)
a. The smallest amount of a physical quantity that can exist independently, especially a discrete quantity of electromagnetic radiation.
b. This amount of energy regarded as a unit.
2. A quantity or amount.
3. A specified portion.
4. Something that can be counted or measured.
5. A unit of acetylcholine, released at the synaptic cleft of a neuromuscular junction.
Relating to or based upon quantum theory.
[Latin, from neuter of quantus, how great; see QUANTITY.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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