confidence interval


: a group of continuous or discrete adjacent values that is used to estimate a statistical parameter (such as a mean or variance) and that tends to include the true value of the parameter a predetermined proportion of the time if the process of finding the group of values is repeated a number of times

Examples of confidence interval in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yet over time both p values and confidence intervals took hold, offering the illusion of certainty. Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2019 After all of this, the results of both were reported not in a straightforward ranking but in a series of overlapping bands of 95 percent confidence intervals, which, ironically, showed that the differences between most doctoral programs are actually substantively very small. Peter Campbell, Foreign Affairs, 15 Sep. 2013 Our model treats districts as separate geographic units similar to states, but with larger confidence intervals. G. Elliott Morris, ABC News, 11 June 2024 Though the vaccine efficacy estimates with potentially wide confidence intervals are not ideal, the doses may offer baseline protection from severe outcomes, which could be critical for higher-risk children. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 13 Sep. 2023 Interested parties can also dig into the raw data of tens of thousands of human prompt/response ratings for themselves or examine more detailed statistics, such as direct pairwise win rates between models and confidence interval ranges for those Elo estimates. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 13 Dec. 2023 Organizations like the International Whaling Commission (IWC) provide an estimate with a confidence interval. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 26 Oct. 2023 In all, the modeling estimated that COVID-19 vaccination prevented 3.25 million deaths, with a 95-percent confidence interval of 3.1 million to 3.4 million. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 13 Dec. 2022 The difference in infertility rates in high-income versus low-income countries is not statistically significant, Mburu said, due to overlapping confidence intervals and data gaps from certain global regions. Theresa Gaffney, STAT, 3 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'confidence interval.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1934, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of confidence interval was in 1934

Dictionary Entries Near confidence interval

Cite this Entry

“Confidence interval.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

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