real number


Definition of real number 

: a number that has no imaginary part the set of all real numbers comprises the rationals and the irrationals

Examples of real number in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Authorities have acknowledged killing more than 4,200 drug suspects who resisted arrest, AFP reports, but rights groups say the real number is at least triple that figure. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Sri Lanka Will Start Hanging Its Drug Dealers to 'Replicate the Success of Philippines'," 12 July 2018 For example, a technique called arithmetic coding subdivides the real number line between 0 and 1 so that each symbol's share of the interval is proportional to the frequency with which the symbol is expected to appear in the data. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Inventor says Google is patenting work he put in the public domain," 10 June 2018 The polling company Meganalisis, which carried out an exit poll on the day of the election, reported that the real number of voters who cast ballots did not surpass 3.6 million, or about 18 percent. Antonio Maria Delgado, miamiherald, "Maduro uses repression and military purge to stay in power in Venezuela," 29 May 2018 Puerto Rico’s official government death toll from Maria is 64, but the real number is many times higher, according to a study published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Washington Post, "The Health 202: Why Hurricane Maria killed not dozens but thousands of Puerto Ricans," 30 May 2018 The real number appears to be fewer than 2,000 phones. Cecilia Kang, New York Times, "Cecilia’s Week in Tech: It’s G.D.P.R. Day!," 25 May 2018 Today, scientists estimate that 5 million to 10 million people are infected, but the real number is probably much higher, Taylor says. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Scientists are declaring war against a leukemia-causing virus that has infected millions," 23 May 2018 About 30,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the U.S. each year, the CDC reports, but the real number of infections each year could top 300,000. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "CDC hides ticks on a poppyseed muffin. Thanks for ruining muffins forever, some say | The Sacramento Bee," 13 May 2018 Investigators determined the phone number used to call the school was not a real number. Karen Kucher,, "Fake threat calls to Mar Vista High School under investigation," 4 May 2018

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

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

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real number

real part



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The first known use of real number was circa 1909

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a state of commotion or excitement

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