arith·​me·​tic | \ ə-ˈrith-mə-ˌtik How to pronounce arithmetic (audio) \

Definition of arithmetic

1a : a branch of mathematics that deals usually with the nonnegative real numbers including sometimes the transfinite cardinals and with the application of the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to them
b : a treatise on arithmetic

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Other Words from arithmetic

arithmetic \ ˌer-​ith-​ˈme-​tik How to pronounce arithmetic (audio) , ˌa-​rith-​ \ or arithmetical \ ˌer-​ith-​ˈme-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce arithmetical (audio) , ˌa-​rith-​ \ adjective
arithmetically \ ˌer-​ith-​ˈme-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce arithmetically (audio) , ˌa-​rith-​ \ adverb
arithmetician \ ə-​ˌrith-​mə-​ˈti-​shən How to pronounce arithmetician (audio) \ noun

Examples of arithmetic in a Sentence

a software program that will do the arithmetic for you I haven't actually done the arithmetic yet, but I suspect we're losing money on the deal.
Recent Examples on the Web Days passed as results trickled in — and those that did were riddled with errors and arithmetic mistakes. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "American democracy is dying," 7 Feb. 2020 No one quite knew, given the parliamentary arithmetic. Washington Post, "Britain’s EU Journey: When Johnson gambled to deliver Brexit," 29 Jan. 2020 Given the unprecedented nature of this election and the tricky arithmetic involved, Rivlin would have wide discretion at his disposal in making his choice. Fox News, "Israel's Arab lawmakers back Netanyahu's rival, Gantz, for prime minister," 23 Sep. 2019 This translated into higher bonuses for executives between 2011 and 2018 than would have been paid if the costs had been part of the earnings and bonus arithmetic. NBC News, "Pacific Gas & Electric execs got big bonuses for meeting safety goals," 17 Dec. 2019 Simple arithmetic will show you that two heads and an extra set of hands are always better than one. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Nov. 26, 2019: Cancer, time to clear the clutter; Aquarius, show your gratitude," 26 Nov. 2019 Many of the major lines of research in algebraic number theory and arithmetic geometry are only possible because of the incisive contribution and illuminating insight of John Tate., "Most read on," 7 Nov. 2019 Equity investors are basing their judgment on a combination of optics and arithmetic. Washington Post, "India Sends Up the Monetary Helicopters," 24 Sep. 2019 The combination of arithmetic and programming reminded me of my first encounter with coding back in elementary school, using the now-archaic BASIC programming language to write all kinds of useless but very gratifying bits of code. Keith Law, Ars Technica, "Roundup: Three “programming” board games that will tickle your pseudocode," 26 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arithmetic.' 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 arithmetic

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for arithmetic

Middle English arsmetrik, from Anglo-French arismatike, from Latin arithmetica, from Greek arithmētikē, from feminine of arithmētikos arithmetical, from arithmein to count, from arithmos number; akin to Old English rīm number, and perhaps to Greek arariskein to fit

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Time Traveler for arithmetic

Time Traveler

The first known use of arithmetic was in the 15th century

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Statistics for arithmetic

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Arithmetic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce arithmetic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of arithmetic

: a branch of mathematics that deals with numbers and their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
: the act or process of calculating a number


arith·​me·​tic | \ ə-ˈrith-mə-ˌtik How to pronounce arithmetic (audio) \

Kids Definition of arithmetic

1 : a science that deals with the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of numbers
2 : an act or method of adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing

Other Words from arithmetic

arithmetic \ ˌer-​ith-​ˈme-​tik \ or arithmetical \ -​ti-​kəl \ adjective

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