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

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 One of its top features is its CAS (computer algebra system) for understanding and solving more complex equations. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 26 July 2022 With Alabama’s new math standards, students can take algebra in the seventh grade. al, 6 July 2022 Without modern symbolic algebra, mathematicians would reason geometrically. Quanta Magazine, 30 June 2022 This is the field of algebraic topology, which studies shapes by translating each space into a piece of algebra. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, 30 June 2022 One of the titans of Number Theory—the study of natural numbers and their properties—is Diophantus of Alexandria, an ancient Greek mathematician who still pops up in algebra textbooks today. Richard Malena, Popular Mechanics, 7 July 2022 The high school algebra teacher at Whiteland worked a girls basketball regional championship last weekend. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 17 Feb. 2022 Her granddaughter is in a rigorous algebra class, and there’s an archery club. Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2022 The image shows two algebra problems attached to trivia questions based on Angelou’s life. Brieanna J. Frank, USA TODAY, 20 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of algebra was in 1551

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Algebra.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for algebra


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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