datum

noun
da·​tum | \ ˈdā-təm How to pronounce datum (audio) , ˈda-, ˈdä- How to pronounce datum (audio) \

Definition of datum

1 plural data\ -​ə How to pronounce data (audio)\ : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Is data singular or plural?: Usage Guide

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 on the Web

For example, kale reappearing on the list will likely make headlines, despite the lack of data on whether or not eating high amounts of kale can actually harm to you. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The New Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Are Here — But Should You Care?," 20 Mar. 2019 In the week ahead, the U.S. will see fresh data on the housing market and Brazil’s central bank will release a key policy decision. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "Economy Week Ahead: Housing Data, the Federal Budget and More," 17 Mar. 2019 Companies like Uber and dockless scooter companies own huge amounts of data about transit trips, which could help cities create better services for everyone. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The future of urban mobility will be shaped by these six issues," 18 Dec. 2018 But with the growing prevalence of biometric data, privacy concerns will continue to bubble, too. Kristen Leigh Painter, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Air Travel Will Change in 2019," 13 Dec. 2018 After collecting data from 3 million users over the past three years, Sleep Cycle came to the conclusion that February is actually the worst month for quality sleep. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Research Says This is Actually the Worst Month For Your Sleep Cycle," 28 Feb. 2019 Photo: Getty The strong January employment report offers one promising data point for Federal Reserve officials who are trying to gauge how the U.S. economy weathered increased market volatility and slowing global growth at the end of last year. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "January Jobs Report Won’t Change the Fed’s New Wait-and-See Stance," 1 Feb. 2019 Twitter also held back this year, releasing only a 30-second animated clip that revealed just five data points. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "The internet is a monoculture built on ads and Drake," 20 Dec. 2018 While those data points may be useful to some users, Fitbit’s female health tracking is still far behind other dedicated apps, which offers comprehensive tools for family planning and menopause tracking. Natt Garun, The Verge, "Fitbit OS 3.0 brings more third-party app support, including Couch to 5K," 17 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of datum

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for datum

Latin, from neuter of datus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about datum

Dictionary Entries near datum

datolitic

Datong

dattock

datum

datura

daturic

dau

Statistics for datum

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for datum

The first known use of datum was in 1646

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for datum

datum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of datum

formal + technical : a single piece of information

datum

noun
da·​tum | \ ˈdā-təm How to pronounce datum (audio) , ˈda-, ˈdä-\
plural data\ -​tə \ or datums

Kids Definition of datum

: a single piece of information : fact

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on datum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with datum

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for datum

Spanish Central: Translation of datum

Nglish: Translation of datum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of datum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about datum

Comments on datum

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

WORD OF THE DAY

grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!