Definition of algebra
1 : a generalization of arithmetic in which letters representing numbers are combined according to the rules of arithmetic
2 : any of various systems or branches of mathematics or logic concerned with the properties and relationships of abstract entities (such as complex numbers, matrices, sets, vectors, groups, rings, or fields) manipulated in symbolic form under operations often analogous to those of arithmetic — compare boolean algebra
algebraistplay \-ˌbrā-ist\ noun
Recent Examples of algebra from the Web
Yet in the three years since, the number of eighth-graders taking algebra has doubled.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, strong scores on the quantitative sections of the GRE or GMAT tests, programming experience, and a math background that includes linear algebra and other courses.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'algebra'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of algebra
Medieval Latin, from Arabic al-jabr, literally, the reduction
First Known Use: 1551See Words from the same year
ALGEBRA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of algebra for English Language Learners
: a branch of mathematics that uses numbers and letters that represent numbers
ALGEBRA Defined for Kids
Definition of algebra for Students
: a branch of mathematics in which symbols (as letters and numbers) are combined according to the rules of arithmetic
Seen and Heard
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