natural number


Definition of natural number

1 : the number 1 or any number (such as 3, 12, 432) obtained by adding 1 to it one or more times : a positive integer
2 : any of the positive integers together with 0 : a nonnegative integer

Examples of natural number in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yet even this seemingly simple concept poses a challenge: there is no largest natural number. Martin Goldstern, Scientific American, 16 Aug. 2021 Any intelligent species might have an interest in natural numbers (1, 2, 3 and so on) as well as things such as pi. The Economist, 28 Nov. 2019 Each of these sets would at first seem to be a smaller subset of the natural numbers. Quanta Magazine, 12 Sep. 2017 The set of real numbers is demonstrably larger than the set of natural numbers. Quanta Magazine, 20 Feb. 2019

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

First Known Use of natural number

1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for natural number

Time Traveler

The first known use of natural number was in 1763

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Dictionary Entries Near natural number

natural minor scale

natural number

natural order

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Cite this Entry

“Natural number.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for natural number

natural number


Kids Definition of natural number

: the number 1 or any number obtained by adding 1 to it one or more times

More from Merriam-Webster on natural number Encyclopedia article about natural number


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