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

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 arithmetic (audio) , ˌa-​rith-​ \ adjective
arithmetically \ ˌer-​ith-​ˈme-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce arithmetic (audio) , ˌa-​rith-​ \ adverb
arithmetician \ ə-​ˌrith-​mə-​ˈti-​shən How to pronounce arithmetic (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 The financial arithmetic doesn’t work without it even as Musk considers additional revenue streams. Abram Brown, Forbes, 5 May 2022 This was — as measured in the grim arithmetic of our national gun violence epidemic — a minor incident. Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2022 The problem is that the arithmetic here has never just been my benefit minus my cost; infectious diseases don’t respect the boundaries of any single body at once. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 10 Feb. 2022 For him, the arithmetic of politics was always more potent than the chemistry. David M. Shribman, Los Angeles Times, 5 Dec. 2021 But four parties have become seven and the two traditional main parties have shrunk, changing the arithmetic of forming a government that represents more than 50 percent of the vote. New York Times, 26 Sep. 2021 Lang recalls her children and grandchildren playing and jumping on trampolines in various corners of the greenhouse through the years and frequent customers trusting the arithmetic of a 9-year-old working at the till. Alixel Cabrera, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Oct. 2021 But Israelis know another arithmetic: Hezbollah's arsenal is 10 times greater than that of Hamas and far more sophisticated. Yossi Klein Halevi, Star Tribune, 25 May 2021 Thus, the arithmetic of government finance is simple: spending must equal tax receipts plus new borrowing. Rick Miller, Forbes, 24 June 2021 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near arithmetic

arithlog paper


arithmetical discount

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Arithmetic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for arithmetic


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

More from Merriam-Webster on arithmetic

Nglish: Translation of arithmetic for Spanish Speakers

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


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