datum

play
noun da·tum \ˈdā-təm, ˈda-, ˈdä-\

Definition of datum

  1. 1 plural dataplay play \-ə\ :  something given or admitted especially as a basis for reasoning or inference an important historical datum This enormous expense—and considerable risk—to pick up a datum or two about geriatrics? — Charles Krauthammer

  2. 2 plural datums mathematics :  something used as a basis for calculating or measuring measuring the distance between datum points … make things more efficient for those of us whose work requires a time datum. — Robert Steinbrunn

Is data singular or plural?

Data leads a life of its own quite independent of datum, of which it was originally the plural. It occurs in two constructions: as a plural noun (like earnings), taking a plural verb and plural modifiers (such as these, many, a few) but not cardinal numbers, and serving as a referent for plural pronouns (such as they, them); and as an abstract mass noun (like information), taking a singular verb and singular modifiers (such as this, much, little), and being referred to by a singular pronoun (it). Both constructions are standard. The plural construction is more common in print, evidently because the house style of several publishers mandates it.

Examples of datum in a sentence

  1. let's begin our discussion of this matter with a datum from actual experience

Origin and Etymology of datum

Latin, from neuter of datus


First Known Use: 1646

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms



DATUM Defined for English Language Learners

datum

play
noun da·tum \ˈdā-təm, ˈda-, ˈdä-\

Definition of datum for English Language Learners

  • : a single piece of information


DATUM Defined for Kids

datum

play
noun da·tum \ˈdā-təm, ˈda-, ˈdä-\

Definition of datum for Students

plural

data

\-tə\ or

datums

  1. :  a single piece of information :  fact



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