Try Our Apps

# absolute value

noun, Mathematics.
1.
Also called numerical value. the magnitude of a quantity, irrespective of sign; the distance of a quantity from zero. The absolute value of a number is symbolized by two vertical lines, as |3| or |−3| is equal to 3.
2.
the square root of the sum of the squares of the real and imaginary parts of a given complex number, as |a + b i | is equal to .
Also called modulus.
Origin of absolute value
1905-1910
First recorded in 1905-10
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for absolute value
Historical Examples
• For them virtue and duty have a relative and not an absolute value.

Elizabeth Robins Pennell
• Of course there is no such thing as absolute value in this world.

Charles Dudley Warner
• We may judge of the relative, but not of the absolute value of what is left.

Remy de Gourmont
• Second, Professor Fisher has no absolute value in his scheme.

Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.
• The "human factor" which explains the absolute value is, for them, labor.

Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.
• The absolute value of a thing, then, is its cost in time and expense.

P. J. Proudhon
• Is the absolute value of the parts in shadow lowered or raised?

W. C. Brownell
• There is no disputing the absolute value of this pure perception.

Edouard le Roy
• As if they had not absolute value in themselves, nor served a finer end!

Kenneth Grahame
• But left us not forget that no service has a fixed and absolute value, compared with others.

Frederic Bastiat
British Dictionary definitions for absolute value

## absolute value

noun (maths)
1.
the positive real number equal to a given real but disregarding its sign. Written | x |. Where r is positive, | r | = r = | –r
2.
Also called modulus. a measure of the magnitude of a complex number, represented by the length of a line in the Argand diagram: |x + iy | = √(x² + y²), so | 4 + 3i | = 5
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
absolute value in Science
 absolute value   The value of a number without regard to its sign. For example, the absolute value of +3 (written |+3|) and the absolute value of -3 (written |-3|) are both 3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary