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 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, "How to talk to aliens," 28 Nov. 2019 Each of these sets would at first seem to be a smaller subset of the natural numbers. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematicians Measure Infinities and Find They’re Equal," 12 Sep. 2017 Pele would operate slightly deeper than Tostão, acting as the essential playmaker and arguably the closest thing to a natural number ten., "Mario Zagallo: Habitual World Cup Winner & Sculptor of Brazil's Joga Bonito Era," 15 July 2019 The set of real numbers is demonstrably larger than the set of natural numbers. Quanta Magazine, "Möbius Strips Defy a Link With Infinity," 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.

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First Known Use of natural number

1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of natural number was in 1763

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Cite this Entry

“Natural number.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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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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