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In arithmetic, a number expressed as a quotient, in which a numerator is divided by a denominator. In a simple fraction, both are integers. A complex fraction has a fraction in the numerator or denominator. In a proper fraction, the numerator is less than the denominator. If the numerator is greater, it is called an improper fraction and can also be written as a mixed numbera whole-number quotient with a proper-fraction remainder. Any fraction can be written in decimal form by carrying out the division of the numerator by the denominator. The result may end at some point, or one or more digits may repeat without end.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on fraction, visit Britannica.com.