identity element


Definition of identity element

: an element (such as 0 in the set of all integers under addition or 1 in the set of positive integers under multiplication) that leaves any element of the set to which it belongs unchanged when combined with it by a specified operation

Examples of identity element in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, the identity element in the group must be assigned the identity matrix. Quanta Magazine, "The ‘Useless’ Perspective That Transformed Mathematics," 9 June 2020 The real numbers have an identity element — the number 1. Quanta Magazine, "The ‘Useless’ Perspective That Transformed Mathematics," 9 June 2020

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

First Known Use of identity element

1902, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of identity element was in 1902

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Cite this Entry

“Identity element.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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