Definition of data in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdādə//ˈdadə/


  • 1[treated as singular or plural] Facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.

    See also datum
    • ‘Web surveys have reduced the cost of data collection and made data analysis more efficient.’
    • ‘We used grounded theory to guide sampling and collection and analysis of data.’
    • ‘RTW collected the data, carried out statistical analyses, and reviewed the manuscript.’
    • ‘The IMF insists that the Department of Statistics gets economic data together in a timely fashion.’
    • ‘Evaluation is the systematic collection and analysis of relevant data to inform decision making.’
    • ‘The reduction in violent crime is evident in the raw data, before any statistical analysis.’
    • ‘The structure of the database permits easy retrieval of specific mutation data for further analysis.’
    • ‘In this section, we will discuss some details of our measurement software and the collected data.’
    • ‘With this book we try to bridge this gap and present real data and facts together with concepts commonly used in economics.’
    • ‘He notes that the pair provide graphs but no statistical analysis of their data.’
    • ‘Analysis of variance and Chi square tests were used for statistical analysis of data.’
    • ‘These programs are used to edit and prepare the collected data for analysis.’
    • ‘All interpretation of data and analysis of statistics will then be carried out in-house by the Chamber.’
    • ‘Using predominantly CPS files, I was able to collect statistical data on a number of variables.’
    • ‘The S Language is a powerful tool for the statistical and graphical analysis of data.’
    • ‘She said the publication uses data from monthly opinion polls, statistical data, and an analysis of media reports.’
    • ‘The solution rested with data collection and analysis by a number of SPC member companies.’
    • ‘Police time will then be spent collecting together the data and providing statistics that indicate the ethnicity of those stopped.’
    • ‘In time, more and more use will be made of statistical analysis of data to describe rocks that fall into a few named categories.’
    • ‘He cited a recent analysis based on data collected by a software company that was funded by a CIA-connected firm.’
    facts, figures, statistics, details, particulars, specifics, features
    information, evidence, intelligence, material, background, input
    proof, fuel, ammunition
    statement, report, return, dossier, file, documentation
    info, gen, dope, low-down, deets
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Computing The quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, being stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media.
      • ‘Some allow you to download stored data to your computer as a way of keeping track of your progress.’
      • ‘Argote gives the example of old recordings of film or data stored on magnetic tape.’
      • ‘The audit trailing of data is likely to multiply the amount of transactional data we store by a factor of two or more.’
      • ‘Internet 2 continues to break astounding records for transmitting data.’
      • ‘The transmitting modem translates digital computer data into analog signals that can be carried over a phone line.’
      • ‘Three playbacks are planned, to ensure that all recorded data are safely transmitted to Earth.’
      • ‘WinBackup is designed to make it easy to perform regular backups of all or selected data on your computer.’
      • ‘Spent the morning verifying health records and entering data in the computer; always a great joy.’
      • ‘With a day's diving complete, the team recorded their data in laptop computers and’
      • ‘Radio signals send that data to a computer mounted on the handlebars for the cyclists to read.’
      • ‘HP's wireless keyboards can transmit data to other computers in faraway buildings.’
      • ‘An electronic tag containing an EPC on a microchip stores and transmits data to a reader.’
      • ‘A query is executed in a computer to retrieve data from a database stored on a data storage device.’
      • ‘The data signal is stored in a first memory in response to the write clock signal.’
      • ‘While backing up data may be a minor chore for many, backing up vast quantities of data is a major operation.’
      • ‘From cassette tapes to disk drives, the most popular way to store data is with magnetic materials.’
      • ‘It can also monitor sales and store financial data on recording companies and rights-holders.’
      • ‘The accumulated data is recorded and stored because the material flow must be traceable.’
      • ‘It's primarily designed to prefetch large quantities of data to help prevent processor stalls.’
      • ‘The coherent light beams could lead to ultrafast computer circuitry that transmits data optically.’
    2. 1.2Philosophy Things known or assumed as facts, making the basis of reasoning or calculation.
      • ‘The other is that he had come to make a virtue of the fact that the basic data of knowledge are never certain, but at best merely credible to some degree.’
      • ‘The roots of relativism lie not in empirical data but in certain epistemological and metaphysical preconceptions.’
      • ‘These data can be accepted on the basis of the reliability of our natural faculties with respect to the natural world.’
      • ‘How do sense-data differ from other data, e.g. from those of memory or introspection?’
      • ‘These data consist of raw facts, as free as possible of confining hypotheses.’


In Latin, data is the plural of datum and, historically and in specialized scientific fields, it is also treated as a plural in English, taking a plural verb, as in the data were collected and classified. In modern nonscientific use, however, it is generally not treated as a plural. Instead, it is treated as a mass noun, similar to a word like information, which takes a singular verb. Sentences such as data was collected over a number of years are now widely accepted in standard English


Mid 17th century (as a term in philosophy): from Latin, plural of datum.