Definition of datum
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 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
let's begin our discussion of this matter with a datum from actual experience
Recent Examples of datum from the Web
The Panama Papers scandal, which detailed offshore companies and other financial data of the rich and powerful, exposed Malta’s energy minister and Muscat’s chief of staff as having acquired a company in Panama.
Some of these other data points that are coming out are quite encouraging.
His team is focused on turning that digital data back into biological molecules.
The numbers, which relate to precipitation data at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, are for rain and snow between March 1 and the end of May.
On Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., the Commerce Department is set to release data on personal income and consumption in April.
Its first data pass came to within about 2,600 miles of Jupiter's cloud tops on Aug. 27, 2016.
The flowing sheets of ice scattered throughout the Montana park shrank by more than a third between 1966 and 2015, according to new data from the United States Geological Survey and Portland State University.
The multiplexer-demultiplexer (MDM) is one of two redundant data relay boxes used to control the solar array systems, radiators, cooling loops, and other hardware aboard the station.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'datum'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of datum
Latin, from neuter of datus
First Known Use: 1646
DATUM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of datum for English Language Learners
: a single piece of information
DATUM Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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