mul·​ti·​pli·​ca·​tion ˌməl-tə-plə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce multiplication (audio)
: the act or process of multiplying : the state of being multiplied
: a mathematical operation that at its simplest is an abbreviated process of adding an integer to zero a specified number of times and that is extended to other numbers in accordance with laws that are valid for integers
: any of various mathematical operations that are analogous in some way to multiplication of the real numbers but are defined for other or larger sets of elements (such as complex numbers, vectors, matrices, or functions)

Examples of multiplication in a Sentence

Students are learning multiplication and division. a disease causing uncontrolled multiplication of cells an uncontrolled multiplication of cells
Recent Examples on the Web The bridge that Weil proposed is the study of finite fields — small number systems that resemble the real numbers in having two smoothly working operations like addition and multiplication. Kevin Hartnett, Quanta Magazine, 6 May 2024 Unfortunately, the human characters have never mattered less, other than trying, ineffectively, to explain the chaos that ensues, as multiplication equals subtraction in a sequel that’s Titan-ic in all the wrong ways. Brian Lowry, CNN, 28 Mar. 2024 Perhaps multiplication was too much — here’s hoping subtraction is next in the mathematical equation. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2024 Surrounding that are the chip’s AI workforce—four engines for matrix multiplication and 32 programmable units called tensor processor cores. IEEE Spectrum, 9 Apr. 2024 GPUs were designed to do matrix multiplication, a sophisticated form of linear algebra that is orders of magnitude faster than central processing units. Aydin Kilic, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 This combination of tools has featured in virtually all subsequent efforts to speed up matrix multiplication. Quanta Magazine, 7 Mar. 2024 For 2-by-2 matrices, that means 23 or 8 multiplications. Quanta Magazine, 7 Mar. 2024 The scientists designed the microchip to perform vector matrix multiplication operations. IEEE Spectrum, 4 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'multiplication.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English multiplicacioun, from Anglo-French multiplicacion, from Latin multiplication-, multiplicatio, from multiplicare to multiply

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of multiplication was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near multiplication

Cite this Entry

“Multiplication.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


mul·​ti·​pli·​ca·​tion ˌməl-tə-plə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce multiplication (audio)
: the act or process of multiplying
: a mathematical operation that takes two numbers and gives an answer equal to the sum of a column containing one of the numbers repeated the number of times of the other number
the multiplication of 8 and 3 is the same as the sum of 8+8+8
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