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

Recent Examples of datum from the Web

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

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms



DATUM Defined for English Language Learners

datum

play
noun

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



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to relieve or lessen

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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