prime number


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prime number (plural prime numbers)

  1. (number theory) Any natural number greater than 1 divisible only by itself and 1.
    • 2013 July-August, Sarah Glaz, “Ode to Prime Numbers”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 4: 
      Some poems, echoing the purpose of early poetic treatises on scientific principles, attempt to elucidate the mathematical concepts that underlie prime numbers. Others play with primes’ cultural associations. Still others derive their structure from mathematical patterns involving primes.
    Every natural number greater than 1 can be factorized into prime numbers.

Usage notesEdit

  • Modern mathematical usage specifies that 1 is not a prime number (as has been defined here); some older texts consider 1 to be a prime number.



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Last modified on 11 January 2014, at 12:00