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Definition of VECTOR
a: a quantity that has magnitude and direction and that is commonly represented by a directed line segment whose length represents the magnitude and whose orientation in space represents the direction; broadly: an element of a vector space
b: a course or compass direction especially of an airplane
a: an organism (as an insect) that transmits a pathogen
In mathematics, a quantity characterized by magnitude and direction. Some physical and geometric quantities, called scalars, can be fully defined by a single number specifying their magnitude in suitable units of measure (e.g., mass in grams, temperature in degrees, time in seconds). Quantities like velocity, force, and displacement must be specified by a magnitude and a direction. These are vectors. A vector quantity can be visualized as an arrow drawn in a specific direction, whose length is equal to the magnitude of the quantity represented. A two-dimensional vector is specified by two coordinates, a three-dimensional vector by three coordinates, and so on. Vector analysis is a branch of mathematics that explores the utility of this type of representation and defines the ways such quantities may be combined. See alsovector operations.