Basic Math Definitions

We have collected some basic definitions on this page ... for lots more definitions, explanations, etc, use search:
Search:
 
Or look up your word in the:
Illustrated Mathematics Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The Basic Operations

In basic mathematics there are many ways of saying the same thing:

Symbol
Words Used
+
Addition, Add, Sum, Plus, Increase, Total
-
Subtraction, Subtract, Minus, Less, Difference, Decrease, Take Away, Deduct
×
Multiplication, Multiply, Product, By, Times, Lots Of
÷
Division, Divide, Quotient, Goes Into, How Many Times

Addition is ...

... bringing two or more numbers (or things) together to make a new total.

  The numbers to be added together are called the "Addends": addition

Subtraction is ...

... taking one number away from another.

Minuend - Subtrahend = Difference

Minuend - Subtrahend = Difference
 

Minuend: The number that is to be subtracted from.
Subtrahend: The number that is to be subtracted.
Difference: The result of subtracting one number from another.

Multiplication is ...

.. (in its simplest form) repeated addition.

Here we see that 6+6+6 (three 6s) make 18

It could also be said that 3+3+3+3+3+3 (six 3s) make 18

multiplication

But you can also multiply by fractions or decimals, which goes beyond the simple idea of repeated addition:

Example: 3.5 × 5 = 17.5

which is 3.5 lots of 5, or 5 lots of 3.5

Division is ...

... splitting into equal parts or groups. It is the result of "fair sharing".

Division has its own special words to remember.

Let's take the simple question of dividing 22 by 5. The answer is 4, with 2 left over. Here we illustrate the important words:


Which is the same as:

A Fraction is ...

.. part of a whole.

A number written with the bottom part (the denominator) telling you how many parts the whole is divided into,

and the top part (the numerator) telling how many you have.

See Fractions for more details.

A Decimal is ...

... a number based on 10. The numbers we use in everyday life are decimal numbers, because there are 10 digits (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9).

it is also used to mean a number that uses a decimal point followed by digits as a way of showing values less than one.

Example: 1.9 is a decimal number (one and nine tenths)

decimal number

See Decimals for more details.

A Percentage is ...

... parts per 100. The symbol is %

  q

Example: 25% means 25 per 100 (25% of this box is green)

 

See Percentages for more details.

Average

You calculate the average by adding up all the values, then divide by how many values.

Example: What is the average of 9, 2, 12 and 5?

Add up all the values: 9 + 2 + 12 + 5 = 28

Divide by how many values (there are four of them): 28 ÷ 4 = 7

So the average is 7

See Mean for more details.

 

Search :: Index :: About :: Contact :: Contribute :: Cite This Page :: Privacy

Copyright © 2011 MathsIsFun.com