number line


: a line of infinite extent whose points correspond to the real numbers according to their distance in a positive or negative direction from a point arbitrarily taken as zero

Examples of number line in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This left open the question of how these infinitely many Carmichael numbers are distributed along the number line. Patrick Honner, Quanta Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 Yet this power is constrained by mathematicians’ limited understanding of how primes are distributed along the number line. Erica Klarreich, Quanta Magazine, 26 Oct. 2023 And now, for the first time, a team of researchers has found direct evidence of a mental number line in a non-human species: chickens. Ben Thomas, Discover Magazine, 29 Jan. 2015 Is there a set of points on that line, on the number line, which is larger than the natural numbers, larger than the rationals, but smaller than the whole line itself? Steven Strogatz, Quanta Magazine, 19 Apr. 2023 Like, every subset of this number line, the real number line, is either countable, or there’s a copy of the Cantor set that lives inside of it. Steven Strogatz, Quanta Magazine, 19 Apr. 2023 Working with your mental timeline or number line, that is, may really be a spatial skill. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 9 Dec. 2011 In the middle of the number line, around 1 and -1, there are more posit representations than floating point. IEEE Spectrum, 25 Sep. 2022 That doesn’t stop us from using the concept of a number line. Corey S. Powell, Discover Magazine, 31 Oct. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'number line.' 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

1956, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of number line was in 1956

Dictionary Entries Near number line

Cite this Entry

“Number line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

number line

: a line without ends whose points are matched to the real numbers by their distance from a given point labeled zero

More from Merriam-Webster on number line

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