whole number

noun

: any of the set of nonnegative integers
also : integer

Examples of whole number in a Sentence

since percentages have been rounded off to whole numbers, the total will not be exactly equal to 100%
Recent Examples on the Web Each pair of planets completes their orbits in times that are the ratios of whole numbers, allowing the planets to align and exert a gravitational push and pull on the other during their orbit. Chris Impey, Discover Magazine, 12 Feb. 2024 Mathematicians cannot determine whether multiplying pi by itself repeatedly might produce a whole number By Manon Bischoff Pi (π) is probably the most famous number in mathematics. Manon Bischoff, Scientific American, 24 Jan. 2024 Data in the thousands were rounded to whole numbers while numbers in the millions were rounded to the first decimal point. Rachel Lerman, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2023 In light of the expulsion of the gentleman from New York, Mr. Santos, the whole number of the House is now 434. CBS News, 3 Dec. 2023 But as the stylebook notes, a workweek or other labor schedule could be viewed in whole numbers. WSJ, 27 Nov. 2023 Share this article Newsletter Get Quanta Magazine delivered to your inbox Introduction For the sieve of Eratosthenes, this estimate depends on how often whole numbers are divisible by 2, or 3, or 5, and so on — comparatively easy information to obtain. Erica Klarreich, Quanta Magazine, 26 Oct. 2023 Renaissance mathematicians proved that if the first four circles have a curvature that’s an integer, the curvatures of all the subsequent circles in the packing are guaranteed to be whole numbers. Quanta Magazine, 10 Aug. 2023 There's a whole number of experts from all countries around the world participating in this. Foreign Affairs, 17 July 2023

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of whole number was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near whole number

Cite this Entry

“Whole number.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whole%20number. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

whole number

noun
: any of the set of nonnegative integers
also : integer

More from Merriam-Webster on whole number

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!