# integer

## noun

in·​te·​ger
1
: any of the natural numbers, the negatives of these numbers, or zero
2
: a complete entity

## Examples of integer in a Sentence

Both 10 and -10 are integers. three is a positive integer
Recent Examples on the Web Gauss conjectured the prime number theorem (a crucial formula that describes how the primes are distributed among the integers) a century before it was actually proved. Quanta Magazine, 26 Jan. 2024 Lenstra next imagined all the integers as an infinite set of grid points, known in mathematics as a lattice. Quanta Magazine, 29 Jan. 2024 Fortunately, mathematics also offers other ways of discerning whether a number is an integer, irrational or even transcendental. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 24 Jan. 2024 The second bug is instead an integer overflow on the 32-bit integer representing the allocation size. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 6 Dec. 2023 Number theorists pay particular attention to prime numbers and the subtle and beautiful ways they’re distributed among the other integers. Quanta Magazine, 23 Dec. 2023 The converse says that, given an integer q, if the number aq–a is divisible by q for any integer a, then q must be a prime number. Quanta Magazine, 28 Nov. 2023 Since a and a−1 are consecutive integers, one of them has to be even, and so their product must be divisible by 2. Similar arguments show that a3–a is always divisible by 3 and a5–a is always divisible by 5 (see the exercises below for more details). Patrick Honner, Quanta Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 However, using Shor’s algorithm for factoring integers, quantum computers can in principle rapidly crack even highly secure RSA-2048 encryption. IEEE Spectrum, 13 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'integer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

## Word History

Etymology

Latin, adjective, whole, entire — more at entire entry 1

First Known Use

1571, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of integer was in 1571

## Cite this Entry

“Integer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/integer. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

## Kids Definition

integer

noun
in·​te·​ger
: a number that is a natural number (as 1, 2, or 3), the negative of a natural number, or 0

called also whole number

## More from Merriam-Webster on integer

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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