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

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Its advocates believe that roughly 30 Republican senators could be supportive, Politico’s Burgess Everett has reported, while detractors like Cotton argue that the real number is much lower. Li Zhou, Vox, "Republicans’ civil war over criminal justice reform, explained," 12 Dec. 2018 Critics said the new policy was unfair and that the real number of families affected by the change would be far higher. Jessica Donati, WSJ, "Trump Administration Halts Some Same-Sex Visas for Foreign Officials in U.S.," 2 Oct. 2018 Though that number may seem absurdly large, the real numbers are also eye-popping. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Sperm donor #2757 sired at least 45 kids—now they’re connecting online," 13 Sep. 2018 Although real numbers are classified, tank authority Stephen Zaloga estimates the M1’s frontal hull offers 700 millimeters of protection, while the frontal arc offers the equivalent of 1,300 millimeters of armor protection against shaped charges. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Claims New Missile Can Clobber U.S. Tanks, But Can It Really?," 11 Sep. 2018 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

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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