group theory


Definition of group theory

: a branch of mathematics concerned with finding all mathematical groups and determining their properties

Examples of group theory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Whether there’s a distinction or not, the relationship between particle physics and group theory grew both richer and more complicated over the course of the 20th century. Quanta Magazine, "What Is a Particle?," 12 Nov. 2020 Representation theory creates a bridge between group theory and linear algebra by assigning a matrix to each element in a group, according to certain rules. Quanta Magazine, "The ‘Useless’ Perspective That Transformed Mathematics," 9 June 2020 John Conway’s boundless curiosity produced profound contributions to number theory, game theory, coding theory, group theory, knot theory, topology, probability theory, algebra, analysis, combinatorics, and more. Siobhan Roberts,, "John Horton Conway, a ‘magical genius’ in math, dies at 82," 19 Apr. 2020 This work raises the intriguing question of whether an innate capability to recognize different quantities—that two pieces of fruit are greater than one—is the biological foundation on which can be built the capacity to master group theory. Jordana Cepelewicz, Scientific American, "How Does a Mathematician's Brain Differ from That of a Mere Mortal?," 12 Apr. 2016 The question has to be asked about all great mathematicians who died young (notably Évariste Galois, inventor of group theory, who died at 20 in a gun duel). Quanta Magazine, "Three Puzzles Inspired by Ramanujan," 14 July 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'group theory.' 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 group theory

1888, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about group theory

Time Traveler for group theory

Time Traveler

The first known use of group theory was in 1888

See more words from the same year

Statistics for group theory

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Group theory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on group theory Encyclopedia article about group theory

Comments on group theory

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

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


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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