Definition of arithmetic in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The branch of mathematics dealing with the properties and manipulation of numbers.

    ‘the laws of arithmetic’
    • ‘The Tentamen is built on Bolyai's belief that mathematics consists of arithmetic and geometry with arithmetic as the mathematics of time and geometry as the mathematics of space.’
    • ‘Adrain received a good education but this education did not include any mathematics beyond arithmetic.’
    • ‘He claimed that mathematics was composed of four branches, namely geometry, arithmetic, astronomy and music.’
    • ‘Geometry is the basic mathematical science, for it includes arithmetic, and mathematical numbers are simply the signs of geometrical magnitude.’
    • ‘Lessons included learning arithmetic, geometry and algebra and prior to Nightingale entered nursing, she spent time tutoring children in these subjects.’
    • ‘He was also required to show the practical applications of mathematics, teach arithmetic, mechanics and the theory of music.’
    • ‘Al-Khwarizmi continues his study of algebra in Hisab al-jabr w'al-muqabala by examining how the laws of arithmetic extend to an arithmetic for his algebraic objects.’
    • ‘Cardinal Algebras presents a study of algebras satisfying certain properties which capture the arithmetic of cardinal numbers.’
    • ‘In principle this included the four mathematical sciences: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music.’
    • ‘He spent the last part of his life working on his own approach to set theory, logic and arithmetic, which was published in 1914, the year after his death.’
    • ‘The mathematical part of the Aryabhatiya covers arithmetic, algebra, plane trigonometry and spherical trigonometry.’
    • ‘His work followed that of Kronecker in the development of arithmetic in algebraic number fields.’
    • ‘In 1946 Dubreil returned to the Sorbonne and there, in 1954, he was appointed to the chair of arithmetic and number theory.’
    • ‘Again it is a theorem of intuitionistic arithmetic that every natural number is either prime or composite.’
    • ‘It is a work which covers arithmetic, algebra and mensuration.’
    • ‘He wrote textbooks on arithmetic, algebra and geometry with the aim of including only theorems which could be applied to the crafts.’
    • ‘Vedic mathematics, which simplifies arithmetic and algebraic operations, has increasingly found acceptance the world over.’
    • ‘He wrote several books on arithmetic, algebra, geometry and astronomy.’
    • ‘The mathematics used in this field, such as conditional probabilities and Bayes' Theorem, are covered by fairly elementary arithmetic and probability theory.’
    • ‘So far we've only talked about the most basic mathematics - arithmetic and an inbuilt notion of cardinal number.’
    arithmetical problem, problem, calculation, reckoning, tally, question
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The use of numbers in counting and calculation.
      ‘arithmetic had never been her strong point’
      • ‘It made calculations in arithmetic so much easier, let alone the multiplication tables.’
      • ‘If U is a positive integer, we can calculate the function's value by simple arithmetic: Just multiply e by itself U times.’
      • ‘Simple arithmetic surely tells us that, other things being equal, the writer who gives the fans a couple of books a year is going to generate greater revenue.’
      • ‘Many engineers of his age felt similar, a computer could be used to do calculus and arithmetic, but not do then daunting tasks such as communications and process control.’
      • ‘All you have to do is some simple arithmetic to know the answer.’
      • ‘Simple arithmetic demonstrates that moving from 31.5 to 42 hours is an increase in working time of 33 per cent.’
      • ‘Simple arithmetic puts the total monetary penalty at €120 when he could have put it all behind him first day for less than twenty.’
      • ‘Problems cover the spectrum from basic arithmetic to calculus.’
      • ‘Simple arithmetic will dictate that clubs cannot afford to pay a ridiculously high percentage of their income on players' wages.’
      • ‘Simple arithmetic will reveal that an increase in the debt of the state is a bill the taxpayer has to pay.’
      • ‘It is not rocket science: just simple arithmetic.’
      • ‘As you may notice from some simple arithmetic, this means that at current prices, the plane would lose money even if fully loaded.’
      • ‘If you can't do simple arithmetic, you won't invest wisely.’
      • ‘No matter how poor my calculating skills are however, I do know some simple arithmetic.’
      • ‘However, that arithmetic counts only the cost of the franchise, implicitly assuming a zero cost of developing the transport, etc. necessary to serve that tourist market.’
      • ‘Instead, they merely checked the arithmetic of their original count.’
      • ‘The Stand and Deliver message, that the touch of a master could bring unmotivated students from arithmetic to calculus in a single year, was preached in schools throughout the nation.’
      • ‘This is probably where the $70.00 noted above is lost; however, mistakes in simple arithmetic should not be made in an estimate.’
      • ‘Simple arithmetic predicts that funding for pulmonary and critical care research may fall considerably below that of other clinical disciplines in European countries.’
      • ‘The arithmetic was simple: only 15% of the population took A-levels and only 10% of these could get an A grade.’


  • [attributive] Relating to arithmetic.

    ‘arithmetic calculations’
    • ‘Among the series al-Umawi considers are arithmetic and geometric series.’
    • ‘La Roche published Larismetique in 1520 which was considered an excellent arithmetic book with good notation for powers and roots.’
    • ‘His arithmetic setting of this result led eventually to the modern abstract theory of algebraic functions.’
    • ‘Thus, this conjecture of Artin was the origin of a wide range of activities in what is now called arithmetic geometry.’
    • ‘Widman is best remembered for an early arithmetic book in German in 1489 which contains the first appearance of + and - signs.’
    • ‘The headmaster for some unknown reason made the whole upper school do an arithmetic paper, the same for all forms.’
    • ‘The simplest operations we could perform on our variable are the arithmetic ones.’
    • ‘They usually base their self-assessment on their poor performance in school arithmetic tests.’
    • ‘Early in the course of his computations, Nicely also happened upon a flaw in a Pentium microprocessor that caused certain types of arithmetic errors.’
    • ‘Bradwardine then claims that an arithmetic increase in velocity corresponds with a geometric increase in the original ratio of force to resistance.’
    • ‘This procedure is the reverse of that used by an elegant method of data compression known as arithmetic coding.’
    • ‘His income came mainly from his arithmetic textbooks.’
    • ‘We do not get to geometrical or arithmetic objects via any process.’
    • ‘From this point his career really took off although the arithmetic book which he published in that year was not a major factor.’
    • ‘He gave this form of the numerals in his practical arithmetic book written around the beginning of the fourteenth century.’
    • ‘The extent of drill work in arithmetic at his time can be gauged from a page from his first arithmetic workbook.’
    • ‘His arithmetic books were used by many mathematicians including Leibniz and Descartes.’
    • ‘Their test involved a simple arithmetic function called Gauss's modular arithmetic task.’
    • ‘It was an elementary arithmetic text which was soon was adopted widely.’
    • ‘Tartaglia also wrote a popular arithmetic text and was the first Italian translator and publisher of Euclid's Elements in 1543.’


Middle English: from Old French arismetique, based on Latin arithmetica, from Greek arithmētikē (tekhnē) (art) of counting, from arithmos number.