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 algebra (audio) \ noun

Examples of algebra in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As a kid, algebra destroyed me; geometry put the nails in the coffin. Washington Post, 29 May 2021 And some concede that if the bill is approved, as expected, students who can’t write very well or do elementary algebra would nonetheless be allowed to graduate without the school having to teach them more. oregonlive, 28 May 2021 What happened to the push for eighth-grade algebra? Howard Blume Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2021 Brunetto and several colleagues were on their Lake County campus this past weekend, offering review lessons to students readying for the state’s civics and algebra exams. Leslie Postal,, 20 May 2021 Remember the professor from Columbia with a PhD in applied mathematics to tutor her in algebra? Emily Gray Tedrowe, USA TODAY, 17 May 2021 Now there are experts — including those involved in writing the state’s draft framework — who discredit that algebra push. Howard Blume Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2021 Students in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan master introductory algebra in eighth grade or even earlier. Williamson M. Evers, WSJ, 18 May 2021 At Pasadena City College, college algebra for STEM majors is labeled Math 003. Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times, 30 Apr. 2021

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

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Algebra.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for algebra



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

More from Merriam-Webster on algebra

Nglish: Translation of algebra for Spanish Speakers

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


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