decibel | Energy Glossary

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1. n. []

The unit of measurement to compare the relative intensity of acoustic or electrical signal, equal to one-tenth of a bel, named for American inventor Alexander Graham Bell (1847 to 1922). The logarithm of the ratio of the sound or signal to a standard provides the decibel measurement. The symbol for the unit is dB. Humans typically hear sounds in the range of 20 to 50 dB in conversation, and upwards of 90 dB when exposed to heavy machinery or aircraft.

Alternate Form: dB

See: acousticbeldynamic rangesignal