central limit theorem


Definition of central limit theorem

: any of several fundamental theorems of probability and statistics that state the conditions under which the distribution of a sum of independent random variables is approximated by the normal distribution especially : one which is much applied in sampling and which states that the distribution of a mean of a sample from a population with finite variance is approximated by the normal distribution as the number in the sample becomes large

First Known Use of central limit theorem

1931, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about central limit theorem

Statistics for central limit theorem

Time Traveler for central limit theorem

The first known use of central limit theorem was in 1931

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on central limit theorem

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about central limit theorem

Comments on central limit theorem

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


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!