math·​e·​mat·​i·​cal | \ ˌmath-ˈma-ti-kəl How to pronounce mathematical (audio) , ˌma-thə- \
variants: or less commonly mathematic \ ˌmath-​ˈma-​tik How to pronounce mathematic (audio) , ˌma-​thə-​ \

Definition of mathematical

1 : of, relating to, or according with mathematics
2a : rigorously exact : precise
3 : possible but highly improbable only a mathematical chance

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Other Words from mathematical

mathematically \ ˌmath-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce mathematically (audio) , ˌma-​thə-​ \ adverb

Examples of mathematical in a Sentence

They recorded the changes with mathematical precision. The team has only a mathematical chance of making the play-offs.
Recent Examples on the Web This local curvature is called Berry curvature after its discoverer, mathematical physicist Michael Berry. Spyridon Michalakis, Scientific American, "How Scientists Solved One of the Greatest Open Questions in Quantum Physics," 1 Aug. 2020 But, starting in the early 2000s, mathematical models suggested that those social divisions might also slow down infections. Michael Schulson, Wired, "What Can Ants and Bees Teach Us About Containing Disease?," 1 Aug. 2020 But the case in 2018 hinged on a very specific dispute over indexing and the mathematical difference between percentages and percentage points. Andrew Oxford, The Arizona Republic, "Education funding initiative thrown off Arizona ballot for 'opaque' summary language, judge rules," 31 July 2020 This mathematical exercise gives an objective and seemingly precise number for the genetic contribution from each breed. Quanta Magazine, "How to Design (or at Least Model) Mixed Dog Breeds," 31 July 2020 Pythagoras’ famous theorem 2 millennia before the mathematical equation was developed. Fox News, "Stonehenge mystery solved: Scientists work out where huge stones came from," 31 July 2020 Like in certain mathematical conditions, the timeline can overcome some disruptions. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Quantum Mechanics Proves 'Back to the Future' Is B.S.," 30 July 2020 The idea that a symbolic order at once mathematical, emotive and bewildering – the sublime force called language – surfs the absolute mystery of nature, of things in themselves, brought to mind my old z-19. 1843, "The internet, mon amour," 19 June 2020 Privacy-preserving machine learning, by contrast, promises much more security—in fact, most methods offer mathematical certainty that the individual records cannot be re-identified by the person training or running the A.I. algorithm. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Privacy-preserving A.I. is the future of A.I.," 16 June 2020

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

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First Known Use of mathematical

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mathematical

Middle English mathematicalle, from Latin mathematicus, from Greek mathēmatikos, from mathēmat-, mathēma learning, mathematics, from manthanein to learn; probably akin to Goth mundon to pay attention

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Time Traveler for mathematical

Time Traveler

The first known use of mathematical was in the 15th century

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Statistics for mathematical

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mathematical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for mathematical


How to pronounce mathematical (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mathematical

: of, relating to, or involving mathematics
: very exact or complete
: possible but very unlikely


math·​e·​mat·​i·​cal | \ ˌma-thə-ˈma-ti-kəl How to pronounce mathematical (audio) \

Kids Definition of mathematical

1 : of or relating to numbers, quantities, measurements, and the relations between them : of or relating to mathematics
2 : exact entry 1 mathematical precision

Other Words from mathematical

mathematically adverb

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