nu·​mer·​a·​tor | \ ˈnü-mə-ˌrā-tər How to pronounce numerator (audio) , ˈnyü- \

Definition of numerator

1 : the part of a fraction that is above the line and signifies the number to be divided by the denominator
2 : one that numbers

Examples of numerator in a Sentence

The numerator in the fraction 3/5 is 3.
Recent Examples on the Web Probabilistic: Calculate the ratio between the remaining cards of the two colors, with the larger number in the numerator so that the ratio is always 1 or more. Quanta Magazine, "Zen and the Art of Puzzle Solving," 10 Feb. 2021 Either when the numerator (in this case, the number of positive tests) rises; or when the denominator (in this case the number of tests performed) falls. Joanne Silberner, Wired, "Test Positivity Is a Bad Way to Measure Covid’s Spread," 22 Dec. 2020 Yet some people who died of COVID-19 early on also did not get tested, impacting the numerator as well. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "COVID-19 cases surge but deaths don’t -- the reason? Age," 24 Nov. 2020 Think of the internal content as the numerator of the equation, and the market context as the denominator. Isaac Cheifetz, Star Tribune, "It's time to put some sizzle in your job ad," 21 Nov. 2020 The numerator has also changed during the pandemic. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "The Pandemic Is About to Pass Spring’s Grimmest Record," 19 Nov. 2020 With regard to the positivity rate, Tulane’s testing has been adding a lot to the city’s denominator (testing) while only rarely adding much to the numerator (cases). Jeff Asher,, "Jeff Asher: Tulane exodus likely to drive up New Orleans' coronavirus positivity rate," 19 Nov. 2020 For those not well acquainted with the math: the mortality rate is the total number of deaths due to the virus (numerator) divided by the total number of infections of the virus (denominator). Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Gov. Cuomo looking presidential to some (4/5/20)," 5 Apr. 2020 As a result, the obviously overwrought profit forecast hoisted the denominator, just as the 34% drop in prices was crushing the numerator. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "The Fed’s economists are worried that stock prices are inflated—and they are right," 18 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'numerator.' 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 numerator

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for numerator

Time Traveler

The first known use of numerator was in 1539

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Statistics for numerator

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Numerator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of numerator

mathematics : the number in a fraction that is above the line and that is divided by the number below the line


nu·​mer·​a·​tor | \ ˈnü-mə-ˌrā-tər How to pronounce numerator (audio) , ˈnyü- \

Kids Definition of numerator

: the part of a fraction that is above the line 3 is the numerator of the fraction ³/₅.

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More from Merriam-Webster on numerator

Nglish: Translation of numerator for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of numerator for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about numerator

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