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absolute value

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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 + bi| is equal to .
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Origin of absolute value

First recorded in 1905–10
Also called modulus.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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 + i y | = √(x ² + y ²), so | 4 + 3i | = 5
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

absolute value in Science

absolute value

  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.