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 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 Without wading too deep into the mathematical weeds, what this generally means is that comparing percentages of patients who die with one therapy versus another treatment course isn’t the be-all and end-all of a treatment’s effectiveness. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Gilead says remdesivir slashes coronavirus deaths. But it’s complicated," 10 July 2020 Did that resonate as someone creating mathematical models for Covid-19? Gregory Barber, Wired, "A Mathematician’s Guide to How Contagion Spreads," 7 July 2020 In their research, published in 2015 in PLOS One, the scientists used mathematical models to show that avoidance, while not without costs, prevents viral outbreaks that would otherwise devastate lobster populations. Scientific American, "Animals Use Social Distancing to Avoid Disease," 1 July 2020 Nevertheless, the Ising model survived as a mathematical curiosity. Quanta Magazine, "The Cartoon Picture of Magnets That Has Transformed Science," 24 June 2020 Feeding this into a mathematical model, the researchers calculated how tall a mountain range could be sustained with that shear force. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Plate tectonics vs. erosion—what sets the height of a mountain range?," 13 June 2020 The mathematical absurdity still makes my mouth water. Geoff Edgers, Washington Post, "A dozen albums for a penny? I’ve still got mine, and plenty of time to listen.," 2 July 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

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mathematical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 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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