least squares

plural noun

Definition of least squares

: a method of fitting a curve to a set of points representing statistical data in such a way that the sum of the squares of the distances of the points from the curve is a minimum

First Known Use of least squares

1825, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About least squares

Time Traveler for least squares

Time Traveler

The first known use of least squares was in 1825

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near least squares

least sandpiper

least squares

least tern

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for least squares

Cite this Entry

“Least squares.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/least%20squares. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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