Glossary

Addends

The numbers to be added together in an addition question. In 3 + 5 = 8, the addends are 3 and 5.

axis

Any straight line used for measuring or as a reference.

balance

Balance has many meanings. In money matters, the balance is the amount left. It might be the amount left in a bank account (bank balance) or it might be the amount you still must pay on a bill (balance owing).

cancelled cheque

A cheque that has been cashed. The cheque is stamped, or cancelled, so it is no longer negotiable.

circumference

The distance around a circle; the perimeter of a circle.

commission

Salespeople may be paid a percentage of the money made in sales. The commission is part or all of their earnings.

common fractions

e.g., ⅔, ³⁄₇ , ⁴⁹⁄₅₀

cross multiply

In a proportion, multiply the numerator of the first fraction times the denominator of the second fraction. Then multiply the denominator of the first fraction times the numerator of the second fraction. In a true proportion, the products of the cross multiplication are equal.

denominator

The bottom number in a common fraction; the denominator tells into how many equal parts the whole thing has been divided.

diameter

The distance across a circle through its centre.

difference

The result of a subtraction question, the answer. Subtraction gives the difference between two numbers.

digit

Any of the ten numerals (0 to 9) are digits. This term comes from our ten fingers which are called digits. The numerals came to be called "digits" from the practice of counting on the fingers!

discount

An amount taken off the regular cost. If something is bought "at a discount" it is bought at less than the regular price.

divide

To separate into equal parts.

dividend

The number or quantity to be divided; what you start with before you divide.

divisor

The number of groups or the quantity into which a number (the dividend) is to be separated.

equal (=)

The same as

Equation

A mathematical statement that two quantities are equal. An equation may use numerals with a letter to stand for an unknown quantity. 6 + Y = 9.

equivalent

Equal in value; equivalent numbers (whole or fractions) can be used interchangeably; that is, they can be used instead of each other.

estimate

Make an approximate answer. Use the sign ≈ to mean approximately equal.

Factors

The numbers or quantities that are multiplied together to form a given product. 5 × 2 = 10, so 5 and 2 are factors of 10.

fraction

Part of the whole; a quantity less than one unit.

horizontal

In a flat position, e.g. we are horizontal when we lie in a bed. A horizontal line goes across the page.

improper fraction

A common fraction with a value equal to or more than one.

infinite

Without end, without limit.

invert

To turn upside down.

like fractions

With the same denominators.

lowest terms

When the terms of a common fraction or ratio do not have a common factor (except 1), the fraction or ratio is in lowest terms (also called simplest form).

minuend

The first number in a subtraction question.

mixed decimal

A whole number and a decimal fraction. 1.75

mixed number

A whole number and a common fraction. 1 3/4

multiple

If a certain number is multiplied by another number, the product is a multiple of the numbers. Think of the multiplication tables. For example, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14... are multiples of 2.

multiplicand

The number to be multiplied.

multiplier

The number you multiply by.

negotiable

Something which can be cashed, that is, exchanged or traded as money.

numbers

Numbers represent the amount, the place in a sequence; number is the idea of quantity or order.

numerals

The digits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0 are also called numerals. These ten digits are combined to make infinite numerals. Digits are like letters, numerals are like words, and numbers are the meaning.

numerator

The top number in a common fraction; the numerator tells how many parts of the whole thing are being considered.

overdrawn

If the value of the cheques or money taken from a bank account is higher than the amount of money in the account, then the account is overdrawn. The account is "in the hole" or "in the red" are expressions sometimes used.

parallel

Two objects or lines side by side, never crossing and always the same distance from each other. Railway tracks are parallel, the lines on writing paper are parallel.

percent (%)

For every one hundred.

perimeter

The distance around the outside of a shape.

place value

We understand numbers by the way the digits (numerals) are arranged in relationship to each other and to the decimal point. Each position has a certain value. Our number system is a decimal system. The place value is based on ten.

prime number

A number that can only be divided evenly by itself and 1.

product

The result of a multiplying question, the answer.

Proper fraction

A common fraction with a value less than one.

proportion

Generally, proportion is a way of comparing a part of something to the whole thing. E.g., his feet are small in proportion to his height. In mathematics, proportion is used to describe two or more ratios that are equivalent to each other.

quotient

The result of a division question; the quotient tells how many times one number is contained in the other.

radius

The distance from the centre of a circle to the outside of the circle.

ratio

The relationship between two or more quantities. E.g., the ratio of men to women in the armed forces is 10 to 3 (10:3)

reciprocal

A number, when multiplied by its reciprocal, equals 1. To find the reciprocal of a common fraction, invert it. ⅗ × ⁵⁄₃ = 1

reduce

Write a common fraction in lowest terms. Divide both terms by same factor.

remainder

The amount left when a divisor does not divide evenly into the dividend. The remainder must be less than the divisor.

sign

In mathematics, a symbol that tells what operation is to be performed or what the relationship is between the numbers.

+ plus, means to add
− minus, means to subtract
× multiplied by, "times"
÷ divided by, division
= equal, the same quantity as
not equal
approximately equal
< less than
> greater than
less than or equal to
greater than or equal to

simplify

See reduce.

subtrahend

The amount that is taken away in a subtraction question.

sum

The result of an addition question, the answer to an addition question.

symbol

A written or printed mark, letter, abbreviation etc. that stands for something else.

term

a) A definite period of time, such as a school term or the term of a loan.

b) Conditions of a contract; the terms of the agreement.

c) In mathematics, the quantities in a fraction and in a ratio are called the terms of the fraction or the terms of the ratio. In an algebra equation, the quantities connected by a + or − sign are also called terms.

total

The amount altogether.

transaction

One piece of business. A transaction often involves money. When you pay a bill, take money from the bank or write a cheque, you have made a transaction.

unit

Any fixed quantity, amount, distance or measure that is used as a standard. In mathematics, always identify the unit with which you are working. E.g., 3 km, 4 cups, 12 people, $76, 70 books, 545 g.

unit price

The price for a set amount. E.g., price per litre, price per gram.

unlike fractions

Fractions which have different denominators.

vertical

In an up and down position, e.g., we are vertical when we are standing up. On a page, a vertical line is shown from the top to the bottom of the page.

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Adult Literacy Fundamental Mathematics: Book 5 - 2nd Edition by Liz Girard; Wendy Tagami; and Leanne Caillier-Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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