de·​nom·​i·​na·​tor | \ di-ˈnä-mə-ˌnā-tər How to pronounce denominator (audio) \

Definition of denominator

1 mathematics : the part of a fraction that is below the line and that functions as the divisor of the numerator
2a : a shared trait a common denominator
b : the average level (as of taste or opinion) : standard manufacturers catering to a safely low denominator of public taste Time

Examples of denominator in a Sentence

In the fraction 2/3 the numerator is 2 and the denominator is 3.
Recent Examples on the Web To offset the drop in the denominator—losing health-care and other units will sap about $1.5 billion in Ebitda—GE will load $18 billion in debt and pre-tax pension liabilities onto the new health unit. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "GE’s Plan Rests on Promises and Some Sleight of Hand," 26 June 2018 Specifically, the error of each fraction is no more than 1 divided by the square of the denominator. Wired, "A Major Proof Shows How to Approximate Numbers Like Pi," 18 Aug. 2019 Larry the Cable Guy For all his pandering, lowest-common-denominator jokes, Larry the Cable Guy remains a savvy brand. John Wenzel, The Know, "Larry the Cable Guy, High Plains Festival and more Colorado comedy you need to know in September," 6 Sep. 2019 First, choose an infinitely long list of denominators. Quanta Magazine, "New Proof Settles How to Approximate Numbers Like Pi," 14 Aug. 2019 But thanks to another of the backroom (unsavory, some might say) deals that have long been the hallmark of European politics, Von der Leyen became the common-denominator compromise choice to lead the European Union’s executive arm in Brussels. Erik Kirschbaum,, "She's about to be one of the most powerful women in Europe. Who is Ursula von der Leyen?," 3 July 2019 In fourth grade, the standard is students can compare two fractions with different numerators or denominators. Jess Nocera,, "Howard schools eliminate class rank, change elementary school report cards," 26 June 2019 Some clinics, for instance, will jigger their denominator—the pool of candidates who actually underwent IVF—to create higher, more marketable success rates. Pamela Tsigdinos, Marie Claire, "The Wild World of IVF, Explained," 1 Oct. 2018 This process allows for extremely accurate reverse engineering of the denominator representing the total player base for an Achievement percentage. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Valve leaks Steam game player counts; we have the numbers," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'denominator.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of denominator

circa 1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for denominator

see denominate

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Statistics for denominator

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for denominator

The first known use of denominator was circa 1542

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How to pronounce denominator (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of denominator

mathematics : the number in a fraction that is below the line and that divides the number above the line


de·​nom·​i·​na·​tor | \ di-ˈnä-mə-ˌnā-tər How to pronounce denominator (audio) \

Kids Definition of denominator

: the part of a fraction that is below the line The number 5 is the denominator of the fraction ³/₅.

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Comments on denominator

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


a calculated move

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