minus sign


Definition of minus sign

: a sign − used in mathematics to indicate subtraction (as in 8−6=2) or a negative quantity (as in −10°)

called also negative sign

Examples of minus sign in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each pair of digits can be connected by either nothing, a plus sign, or a minus sign. Laura Feiveson, Popular Mechanics, "Solution to Riddle of the Week: The Doodle Problem," 27 Mar. 2020 But the first time an aircraft carrier took the F/A-18s below the Equator, it was discovered that there was a plus sign in the computer code that should have been a minus sign. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "50 Years Ago, 3 Astronauts Survived Apollo 13. Could It Happen Again?," 13 Apr. 2020 Yes, there are scary red minus signs next to your online account balances. Ann Carrns, New York Times, "Amid Coronavirus Anxiety, Should I Stop Making 401(k) Contributions?," 12 Mar. 2020 Instead of a number pad, time can be increased or decreased with a plus and minus sign on either side of the time display. Gabrielle Hondorp, Popular Mechanics, "The 7 Best Microwaves for Your Countertop," 4 Feb. 2020 For the negative electrode in his battery — the side with the minus sign — Whittingham decided to test lithium, which is the lightest metal and releases electrons easily. BostonGlobe.com, "Nobel Prize in chemistry honors work on lithium-ion batteries - The Boston Globe," 10 Oct. 2019 There is a deeper mathematical reason why the minus sign is appropriate, as Tom Nichols and Kyle Sinclair pointed out. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Creating Art With Mathematics’," 30 Oct. 2015 But when near field light hits a negatively refracting medium, the minus sign transforms its decay into growth, amplifying the signal. Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Close In on ‘Perfect’ Optical Lens," 8 Aug. 2013 And two other liquidity metrics — cash from operations vs. total liabilities and cash from operations vs. average current liabilities — have unwelcome minus signs in front of them, reflecting actual and expected negative cash from operations. Liam Denning, latimes.com, "Tesla needs $3 billion, one analyst says. But what good would it really do?," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minus sign.' 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 minus sign

1820, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for minus sign

Time Traveler

The first known use of minus sign was in 1820

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Statistics for minus sign

Cite this Entry

“Minus sign.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minus%20sign. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for minus sign

minus sign


English Language Learners Definition of minus sign

mathematics : the symbol − used to show that a number is being subtracted from another number or that a quantity is less than zero

minus sign


Kids Definition of minus sign

: a sign − used especially in mathematics to indicate subtraction (as in 8−6=2) or a quantity less than zero (as in −15°)

More from Merriam-Webster on minus sign

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with minus sign

Nglish: Translation of minus sign for Spanish Speakers

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