In today’s world, mathematics plays a crucial role in various fields in our daily life. For students, having a solid foundation in mathematics is essential for their academic and professional success. However, mathematics can often seem intimidating due to the vast number of terms, concepts, and rules.
To help students build their mathematical knowledge and ease their learning process, I have prepared an extended glossary of math terms. This glossary serves as a comprehensive reference, covering fundamental concepts to more advanced topics in a concise and accessible manner.
The primary goal of this glossary is to provide students with a resource that they can consult whenever they encounter unfamiliar terms or concepts. By offering clear and straightforward definitions, students can quickly grasp the meaning and context of various mathematical ideas.
This glossary not only assists students in developing a strong mathematical vocabulary but also fosters a deeper understanding of the subject matter, enabling them to tackle problems with greater confidence and proficiency.
1. Absolute value: The distance a number is from zero on the number line. Denoted by |x|, where x is a real number.
2. Acute angle: An angle measuring less than 90 degrees.
3. Algebra: A branch of mathematics that uses symbols, letters, and numbers to represent and solve problems.
4. Algorithm: A step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing a task.
5. Arithmetic: The branch of mathematics dealing with basic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
6. Associative property: The property that states that the way numbers are grouped does not change the result (a+(b+c)=(a+b)+c and a(bc)=ab(c)).
7. Asymptote: A line that a curve approaches as it heads towards infinity.
8. Axiom: A statement or proposition that is accepted as true without proof.
9. Base: The number that is raised to a power in an exponential expression.
10. Binomial: A polynomial with two terms.
11. Calculus: A branch of mathematics that studies change and motion, involving concepts such as limits, derivatives, and integrals.
12. Cartesian coordinates: A system for locating points in a plane by specifying their distances from a pair of perpendicular axes.
13. Coefficient: A numerical or constant factor that multiplies a variable in a term of an algebraic expression.
14. Combination: A selection of items from a larger set, where the order of the items does not matter.
15. Complex number: A number that can be expressed in the form a + bi, where a and b are real numbers and i is the imaginary unit (i² = -1).
16. Composite number: A number that has factors other than 1 and itself.
17. Congruent: Identical in form, size, and shape.
18. Constant: A value that does not change.
19. Coordinate plane: A plane with two perpendicular number lines, called axes, used to define the positions of points.
20. Cosine: A trigonometric function that relates the ratio of the adjacent side to the hypotenuse in a right-angled triangle.
21. Degree: A unit of measurement for angles, where one degree is 1/360 of a full circle.
22. Derivative: A measure of how a function changes as its input changes, representing the slope of the tangent line to the graph of the function.
23. Determinant: A scalar value associated with a square matrix, used to solve linear equations and calculate matrix inverses.
24. Diagonal: A line segment that connects two non-adjacent vertices in a polygon or polyhedron.
25. Distributive property: The property that states that multiplying a sum by a number is the same as multiplying each term in the sum by the number and then adding the results (a(b+c)=ab+ac).
26. Domain: The set of all possible input values of a function.
27. Equation: A mathematical statement that asserts the equality of two expressions.
28. Exponent: The power to which a number is raised in an exponential expression.
29. Factorial: The product of all positive integers less than or equal to a given number, denoted by n!.
30. Fibonacci sequence: A sequence of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two preceding ones, starting from 0 and 1.
31. Fractal: A geometric shape that has a self-repeating pattern at different scales.
32. Fraction: A representation of a part of a whole, written as a ratio of two numbers (a/b).
33. Function: A mathematical relationship that assigns exactly one output value to each input value in a given domain.
35. Geometry: The branch of mathematics concerned with the properties, measurement, and relationships of points, lines, angles, surfaces, and solids.
36. Gradient: A measure of the steepness of a line, calculated as the ratio of the vertical change to the horizontal change.
37. Hyperbola: A curve formed by the intersection of a plane with both halves of a double cone, consisting of two distinct, mirror-image branches.
38. Hypotenuse: The longest side of a right-angled triangle, opposite the right angle.
39. Imaginary number: A number that can be written as a real number multiplied by the imaginary unit i, where i² = -1.
40. Induction: A method of mathematical proof that establishes the truth of an infinite sequence of statements by proving the base case and an inductive step.
41. Infinity: A concept that expresses the idea of a quantity that is larger than any finite number.
42. Integer: A whole number, including positive, negative, and zero values.
43. Integral: A fundamental concept in calculus that represents the area under a curve, or the accumulation of a quantity over an interval.
44. Intercept: The point where a curve or line intersects an axis on a coordinate plane.
45. Inverse function: A function that reverses the action of another function, so that applying the two functions in sequence leaves the input unchanged.
46. Irrational number: A number that cannot be expressed as a simple fraction, with non-repeating, non-terminating decimal representation.
47. Isosceles triangle: A triangle with two sides of equal length.
48. Limit: A fundamental concept in calculus that describes the behavior of a function as its input approaches a certain value or infinity.
49. Logarithm: The exponent to which a base must be raised to produce a given number, denoted by logb(x).
50. Matrix: A rectangular array of numbers, symbols, or expressions arranged in rows and columns, used in various mathematical operations.
51. Mean: The sum of a set of values divided by the number of values, also known as the average.
52. Median: The middle value in a set of data when the data is arranged in ascending or descending order.
53. Mode: The value that appears most frequently in a set of data.
54. Monomial: A polynomial with only one term.
55. Normal distribution: A continuous probability distribution characterized by a bell-shaped curve, also known as the Gaussian distribution.
56. Null set: A set with no elements, also called the empty set.
57. Obtuse angle: An angle measuring more than 90 degrees but less than 180 degrees.
58. Odds: The ratio of the probability of an event occurring to the probability of it not occurring.
59. Parabola: A U-shaped curve defined by a quadratic function, representing the graph of a quadratic equation.
60. Parallel lines: Lines in the same plane that never intersect.
61. Permutation: An arrangement of items from a larger set, where the order of the items matters.
62. Pi (π): The ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, approximately equal to 3.14159.
63. Polynomial: An algebraic expression consisting of one or more terms with non-negative integer exponents.
64. Prime number: A number greater than 1 that has only two factors: 1 and itself.
65. Probability: A measure of the likelihood that an event will occur, expressed as a number between 0 and 1.
66. Pythagorean theorem: A fundamental theorem in geometry stating that the square of the length of the hypoten.
67. Pythagorean theorem: A fundamental theorem in geometry stating that the square of the length of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the other two sides (a² + b² = c²).
68. Quadratic equation: A polynomial equation of degree 2, in the form ax² + bx + c = 0.
69. Quadrilateral: A polygon with four sides and four angles.
70. Quaternion: A number system that extends complex numbers with four components, often used in 3D rotations and transformations.
71. Radical: The symbol √ used to denote the square root or higher-order roots of a number.
72. Range: The difference between the highest and lowest values in a set of data, or the set of all possible output values of a function.
73. Rational number: A number that can be expressed as a fraction, where the numerator and denominator are integers and the denominator is not zero.
74. Real number: A number that can be represented on a number line, including rational and irrational numbers.
75. Reflection: A transformation that creates a mirror image of a geometric figure across a line or plane.
76. Regression: A statistical method for estimating the relationships between variables, often used to make predictions based on observed data.
77. Remainder: The amount left over when one number is divided by another.
78. Riemann sum: A method for approximating the definite integral of a function using the sum of the areas of rectangles.
79. Right angle: An angle measuring exactly 90 degrees.
80. Scalar: A quantity that has only magnitude, not direction, such as mass or temperature.
81. Secant: A line that intersects a curve at two or more points.
82. Sequence: An ordered list of numbers, often generated by a specific rule or formula.
83. Series: The sum of the terms in a sequence.
84. Set: A collection of distinct objects, considered as an object in its own right.
85. Similar: Having the same shape but not necessarily the same size.
86. Sine: A trigonometric function that relates the ratio of the opposite side to the hypotenuse in a right-angled triangle.
87. Slope: A measure of the steepness of a line, calculated as the ratio of the vertical change to the horizontal change.
88. Square root: A number that, when multiplied by itself, equals a given number.
89. Standard deviation: A measure of the amount of variation or dispersion in a set of values.
90. Subset: A set formed by taking some or all of the elements from a larger set.
91. Summation: The process of adding a sequence of numbers, typically denoted by the Greek letter sigma (Σ).
92. Tangent: A straight line that just touches a curve at a single point without crossing it.
93. Taylor series: An infinite series of terms that represents a function as the sum of its derivatives at a single point, multiplied by powers of the input variable.
94. Theorem: A statement that has been proven to be true using logical reasoning and previously established statements or axioms.
95. Transcendental number: A number that is not the root of any non-zero polynomial equation with integer coefficients, such as π and e.
96. Transformation: A change in the position, size, or orientation of a geometric figure.
97. Transpose: To interchange the rows and columns of a matrix.
98. Trigonometry: The branch of mathematics that deals with the relationships between the angles and sides of triangles, particularly right-angled triangles.
99. Union: The set containing all the elements of two or more given sets.
100. Vector: A quantity that has both magnitude and direction, typically represented by an arrow with a specific length and direction.
101. Vertex: The point where two or more edges meet in a geometric figure, or the highest or lowest point on a curve.
102. Vertical angles: A pair of non-adjacent angles formed by the intersection of two straight lines.
103. Volume: The amount of space occupied by a three-dimensional object, measured in cubic units.
104. Whole number: A non-negative integer, including zero.
105. X-axis: The horizontal axis in a coordinate plane.
106. Y-axis: The vertical axis in a coordinate plane.
107. Zero: The number that represents the absence of a quantity or a value.
108. Z-score: A measure of how many standard deviations a data point is from the mean of the data set, used in statistics to standardize and compare data.
109. Zone: A region or area in a geometric figure that is separated by specific boundaries or features.
110. Z-transform: A mathematical transform used in signal processing and control theory to convert a discrete-time signal into a complex frequency domain representation.
These terms cover a wide range of mathematical concepts and branches. To deepen your understanding, it’s a good idea to study each term and concept in more detail and practice applying them in various mathematical problems.
For more math glossary sources, check out these resources:
1. MathWorld – Wolfram Research:
MathWorld is a comprehensive and interactive mathematics encyclopedia that covers various math concepts and terms.
2. Math Glossary – RapidTables:
RapidTables provides a glossary of math symbols and terms, including definitions and examples.
3. Math Is Fun – Glossary:
Math Is Fun offers a glossary of math terms, concepts, and symbols, with simple explanations and examples.
7. Math.com – Glossary:
Math.com offers a glossary of math terms and concepts, covering subjects from basic arithmetic to geometry and algebra.
8. Math Dictionary for Kids:
This math dictionary is designed specifically for kids, providing simple explanations and examples for various math terms.
This post originally appeared in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning ( www.educatorstechnology.com ).