al·​ge·​bra | \ ˈal-jə-brə How to pronounce algebra (audio) \

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

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Other Words from algebra

algebraist \ ˈal-​jə-​ˌbrā-​ist How to pronounce algebraist (audio) \ noun

Examples of algebra in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jake Gyllenhaal, Natasha Lyonne, David Byrne, and Richard Kind make cameos, and there’s a jazz song about algebra. Ew Staff,, "What to Watch on Tuesday: John Mulaney and his Sack Lunch Bunch on Netflix," 24 Dec. 2019 But this competitive wooing is not fueled by a dawning recognition of the back pain associated with teaching algebra. Marshall Allen, ProPublica, "What Happens When a Health Plan Has No Limits? An Acupuncturist Earns $677 a Session.," 19 Dec. 2019 The goal was to get them on a track that leads to calculus, starting with algebra 1 in seventh grade. Leslie Postal,, "Orange schools fall short of goal for more minority students to take calculus," 23 Nov. 2019 Eighth-grade algebra?—could offer clues about what, if anything, went wrong here. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "Goldman Sachs’ misguided World Cup predictions could provide clues to the Apple Card controversy," 15 Nov. 2019 The Skagit Valley Herald reported that students in an advanced algebra class are using RubiQ-brand drones to chart distance, speed and create graphs. USA TODAY, "Lynyrd Skynyrd, ‘Breaking Bad’ beer, cheetahs, record muskie: News from around our 50 states," 24 Oct. 2019 The algebra class would have to be retaken online over six weeks. Mike Mikula, Washington Post, "What happened when my son slacked his way through algebra and we didn’t bail him out," 8 Aug. 2019 Scratch is perhaps less useful for learning algebra or metallurgy, which, unlike Scratch, are less brandable, having spent millennia in the public domain. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, "How We Learned to Love the Pedagogical Vapor of STEM," 17 Dec. 2019 The dual language students take algebra or geometry in Spanish and a Spanish language arts course. Alia Malik,, "Latest career high school in San Antonio is medical — and has a dual language program," 2 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of algebra

1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for algebra

Medieval Latin, from Arabic al-jabr, literally, the reduction

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Time Traveler for algebra

Time Traveler

The first known use of algebra was in 1551

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Statistics for algebra

Last Updated

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Algebra.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for algebra


How to pronounce algebra (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of algebra

: a branch of mathematics that uses numbers and letters that represent numbers


al·​ge·​bra | \ ˈal-jə-brə How to pronounce algebra (audio) \

Kids Definition of algebra

: a branch of mathematics in which symbols (as letters and numbers) are combined according to the rules of arithmetic

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More from Merriam-Webster on algebra

Spanish Central: Translation of algebra

Nglish: Translation of algebra for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of algebra for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about algebra

Comments on algebra

What made you want to look up algebra? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


dull or mediocre

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