noun \ə-ˈrith-mə-ˌtik\

: a branch of mathematics that deals with numbers and their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division

: the act or process of calculating a number

Full Definition of ARITHMETIC

a :  a branch of mathematics that deals usually with the nonnegative real numbers including sometimes the transfinite cardinals and with the application of the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to them
b :  a treatise on arithmetic
ar·ith·met·ic \ˌer-ith-ˈme-tik, ˌa-rith\ or ar·ith·met·i·cal \-ti-kəl\ adjective
ar·ith·met·i·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
arith·me·ti·cian \ə-ˌrith-mə-ˈti-shən\ noun

Examples of ARITHMETIC

  1. a software program that will do the arithmetic for you
  2. <I haven't actually done the arithmetic yet, but I suspect we're losing money on the deal.>


Middle English arsmetrik, from Anglo-French arismatike, from Latin arithmetica, from Greek arithmētikē, from feminine of arithmētikos arithmetical, from arithmein to count, from arithmos number; akin to Old English rīm number, and perhaps to Greek arariskein to fit
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms

abscissa, denominator, divisor, equilateral, exponent, hypotenuse, logarithm, oblique, radii, rhomb


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Branch of mathematics that deals with the properties of numbers and ways of combining them through addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Initially it dealt only with the counting numbers, but its definition has broadened to include all real numbers. The most important arithmetic properties (where a and b are real numbers) are the commutative laws of addition and multiplication, a + b = b + a and ab = ba; the associative laws of addition and multiplication, a + (b + c) = (a + b) + c and a(bc) = (ab)c; and the distributive law, which connects addition and multiplication, a(b + c) = ab + ac. These properties include subtraction (addition of a negative number) and division (multiplication by a fraction).


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