Definition of mathematics in English:


plural noun

  • 1[usually treated as singular] The abstract science of number, quantity, and space, either as abstract concepts (pure mathematics), or as applied to other disciplines such as physics and engineering (applied mathematics)

    ‘a taste for mathematics’
    • ‘This question is a perfect example of a problem in the branch of mathematics known as information theory.’
    • ‘The application of mathematics to trade and financial affairs is as old as mathematics itself.’
    • ‘Perhaps you should take the opportunity to send your reporter to a night class in basic mathematics.’
    • ‘If you only have an average interest in every form of mathematics you'll probably hate it.’
    • ‘Life is good for only two things, discovering mathematics and teaching mathematics.’
    • ‘Had he not made a career from mathematics he could well have made his profession as an opera singer.’
    • ‘He wrote on the history of mathematics and the philosophy of mathematics and science.’
    • ‘We need to think more carefully about numbers and the mathematics we use to work with them.’
    • ‘For example, in the history of mathematics, the concept of zero is rather late.’
    • ‘His belief was that to learn mathematics a student had to do more and read less.’
    • ‘So if these two forms of life then get in each other's way it's a matter of simple mathematics.’
    • ‘The Greeks were superb mathematicians and discovered much of the mathematics we still use today.’
    • ‘After a couple of years she dropped engineering and moved to mathematics as her main subject.’
    • ‘It was not just the relation between mathematics and the physical sciences that fascinated him.’
    • ‘That would make anything but the simplest mathematics in ancient texts impossible.’
    • ‘I want to argue for a radically discursive understanding of mathematics itself.’
    • ‘There was a course covering all aspects of study including arts, science and mathematics.’
    • ‘She now had a circle of friends who strongly encouraged her in her studies of mathematics and science.’
    • ‘Our tools are mathematics and physics, and we have to teach children how to use them.’
    • ‘It is time to take a look at this most outstanding work on algebra in Greek mathematics.’
    arithmetical problem, problem, calculation, reckoning, tally, question
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    1. 1.1[often treated as plural]The mathematical aspects of something.
      ‘James immerses himself in the mathematics of baseball’
      • ‘We thought that the latest attack might be thwarted by the machines' own faulty mathematics.’
      • ‘Ruby was the person who had the mathematical ability and she did all the mathematics.’
      • ‘The mathematics of counting then allow you to work out your winning chances, and how much your prize might be.’


Late 16th century: plural of obsolete mathematic ‘mathematics’, from Old French mathematique, from Latin (ars) mathematica mathematical (art), from Greek mathēmatikē (tekhnē), from the base of manthanein learn.