rational number

noun

Definition of rational number

: a number that can be expressed as an integer or the quotient of an integer divided by a nonzero integer

Examples of rational number in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With a rational number—one with an end—the layers of fractions will terminate, or run out, eventually. Popular Mechanics, "This Inmate Used Solitary Confinement to Learn Math. Now He's Solving the World's Hardest Equations," 21 Feb. 2021 This interminable variety can’t be divided by a rational number. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Pi Day in the time of coronavirus," 14 Mar. 2020 In other words, an L-function over the set of rational numbers, which is one of the ground-floor functions studied in complex space, ends up being a particular kind of integral complement that can be plotted more easily. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "String Theory and Number Theory Have More in Common Than You Think, Maaaaaan," 2 Mar. 2020 But rational numbers are actually rare among all numbers. Quanta Magazine, "New Proof Settles How to Approximate Numbers Like Pi," 14 Aug. 2019 But rational numbers are actually rare among all numbers. Quanta Magazine, "New Proof Settles How to Approximate Numbers Like Pi," 14 Aug. 2019 But rational numbers are actually rare among all numbers. Wired, "A Major Proof Shows How to Approximate Numbers Like Pi," 18 Aug. 2019 The rank is a measurement that tells you something about how many of the solutions to that equation are rational numbers as opposed to irrational numbers. Quanta Magazine, "Without a Proof, Mathematicians Wonder How Much Evidence Is Enough," 31 Oct. 2018 Over the past decade Kim has described a very new way of looking for patterns in the seemingly patternless world of rational numbers. Quanta Magazine, "Secret Link Uncovered Between Pure Math and Physics," 1 Dec. 2017

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

1873, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for rational number

Time Traveler

The first known use of rational number was in 1873

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Statistics for rational number

Last Updated

6 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rational number.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rational%20number. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for rational number

rational number

noun

Kids Definition of rational number

: a number that can be expressed as a whole number or the quotient of two whole numbers

More from Merriam-Webster on rational number

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rational number

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