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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for least squares

Cite this Entry

“Least squares.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/least%20squares. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

Comments on least squares

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!