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In the world of scopedom, magnification means power and vice versa. Actual magnification values vary from scope to scope, but the numbers mean that at the lowest setting (3x), the object you are looking at through the Nikon scope will appear to be approximately three times the size it would appear when viewed by the naked eye. At the top setting (9x), it would appear to be about nine times that size.
The adjustments between the low and high settings are infinite. You can turn the adjustment to any position between the low and high, and view the target at varying respective sizes. This is true of any variable-power scope.