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From Old French mathematique, from Latin mathēmatica (mathematics), from Ancient Greek μαθηματικός (mathēmatikós, fond of learning), from μάθημα (máthēma, knowledge, study, learning).


  • IPA(key): /mæθ(ə)ˈmætɨks/
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mathematics (uncountable)

  1. An abstract representational system used in the study of numbers, shapes, structure, change and the relationships between these concepts.
    • 2001, David Salsburg, The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century, page 8
      In many cases, the mathematics involved are deep and complicated.
    • 2002, Ian Stewart, Does God Play Dice?: The New Mathematics of Chaos, page 38
      The answer is 'yes', and the mathematics needed is the theory of probability and its applied cousin, statistics.
  2. A person's ability to count, calculate, and use different systems of mathematics at differing levels.
    My mathematics is not very good.

Usage notesEdit

  • Mathematics was previously seen as a plural, but this usage is obsolete.
    • "… Artificers, to whom the Practical Mathematics are of great and immediate Uſe." A System of Practical Mathematics - John Potter, 1753
    • "Mathematics are based on arithmatic[sic], algebra and geometry, and are either pure or mixed." - The teacher's assistant in the "Course of mathematics adapted to the method of instruction in the American colleges - Jeremiah Day, 1836
    • "Now the mathematics are peculiarly well adapted for this purpose, … " - Library of Useful Knowledge - Mathematics - Baldwin and Cradock, London, 1836
    • "Mathematics are also distinguished into Theoretical, or Speculative, and Practical, …" A new and easy Introduction to the Mathematics - Ira Wanzer, 1831


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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

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