Definition of absolute value in US English:

absolute value


  • 1Mathematics
    The magnitude of a real number without regard to its sign.

    The absolute value of a complex number a + ib is the positive square root of a²+ b²

    Also called modulus
    • ‘The most commonly used method is to check for patterns in a plot of the absolute values of the standardized contrasts against their standard deviations (square roots of sums of branch lengths).’
    • ‘In general, we say that the second component winds monotonically about the first, unknotted, component if the number of maximum points on the diagram equals the absolute value of the linking number.’
    • ‘Their absolute values increase roughly 2x and the signs change.’
    • ‘Ignoring minus signs, thereby taking the absolute value, gives a two-part curve.’
    • ‘In other words, you can safely bet your life on the fact that for your sequence, the bigger N is, the closer the absolute value of the Nth number gets to the Nth power of 1.13198824…’
  • 2technical The actual magnitude of a numerical value or measurement, irrespective of its relation to other values.

    • ‘To obtain relative values absolute values were divided by germination percentages obtained in water, and the result was multiplied by 100.’
    • ‘The heat peaks caused by the upward and downward pressure jumps differ in sign but should agree in absolute values.’
    • ‘Figure 4 shows five-year moving averages of the mean absolute value of the ratio of the current account balance to GDP for twelve countries.’
    • ‘The protected polymorphism conditions are now given by the inequalities that the absolute values of these eigenvalues are larger than one.’
    • ‘We use dBm to express absolute values of power relative to a milliwatt.’