Definition of Napier's bones in US English:

Napier's bones

plural noun

  • Slips of ivory or other material divided into sections marked with digits, devised by John Napier and formerly used to facilitate multiplication and division.

    • ‘He described a method of multiplication using rods with numbers marked off on them, called Napier's bones.’
    • ‘Then stick the page onto a card and cut the bones out and pronto - you will have your own Napier's bones!’
    • ‘These rods however are quite a lot longer than Napier's bones usually were, so are too big to put in a pocket.’
    • ‘This is another site that demonstrates how to multiply using Napier's bones.’
    • ‘Napier is also credited with creating one of the earliest calculating machines (‘Napier's bones ’) and with the first systematic use of the decimal point.’