Definition of datum
1 plural data play \-ə\ : something given or admitted especially as a basis for reasoning or inference
2 plural datums : something used as a basis for calculating or measuring
Usage Discussion of datum
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 (as these, many, a few) but not cardinal numbers, and serving as a referent for plural pronouns (as they, them); and as an abstract mass noun (like information), taking a singular verb and singular modifiers (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>
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
What made you want to look up datum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).