# natural number

## noun

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 At the time that Russell presented his antinomy, a set generally referred to a collection of things: The natural numbers, for example, form a set, as does the set of all inhabitants that do not shave themselves. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 15 Aug. 2024 Just as molecules are composed of atoms, in math, every natural number can be broken down into its prime factors—those that are divisible only by themselves and 1. Byzack Savitsky, science.org, 29 July 2024 The first category includes, for example, the set of natural numbers (1, 2, 3, 4,...), which is unlimited upward: there is no largest natural number. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 30 July 2024 The Riemann hypothesis concerns the basic building blocks of natural numbers: prime numbers, values only divisible by 1 and themselves. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 1 July 2024 The problem is that the prime numbers do not seem to follow a simple pattern and instead appear randomly among the natural numbers. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 1 July 2024 Accordingly, is also divisible by 2: = 2 where is a natural number. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 13 June 2024 All other natural numbers can be broken down into their prime divisors, which makes prime numbers the basic building blocks of the mathematical world. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 7 June 2024 The exclamation point denotes an arithmetic operation known as a factorial, which multiplies all natural numbers up to the number before the factorial. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 16 Nov. 2023

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

## Word History

First Known Use

1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of natural number was in 1763

natural number

## Cite this Entry

“Natural number.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/natural%20number. Accessed 11 Sep. 2024.

## Kids Definition

natural number

noun
: the number 1 or any number (as 3, 12, or 432) obtained by adding 1 to it one or more times : a positive whole number

## More from Merriam-Webster on natural number

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