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absolute value

noun, Mathematics.
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.
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
First recorded in 1905-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for absolute value
Historical Examples
  • The absolute value of their remarks was about as great as the value of the investigation they either mocked at or extolled.

  • For them virtue and duty have a relative and not an absolute value.

    Mary Wollstonecraft Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • Second, Professor Fisher has no absolute value in his scheme.

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

    The Value of Money Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.
  • What has never been properly recognised is the absolute value of the margin itself — a value frequently superior to its enclosure.

    Pagan Papers Kenneth Grahame
  • The absolute value of a thing, then, is its cost in time and expense.

    What is Property? P. J. Proudhon
  • While individual goods may vary greatly in absolute value, the general mass of goods will vary comparatively little and seldom.

    Readings in Money and Banking Chester Arthur Phillips
  • Is the absolute value of the parts in shadow lowered or raised?

    French Art W. C. Brownell
  • An actor in desperate earnest himself, he must have believed in the absolute value of conventional signs.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • There is no disputing the absolute value of this pure perception.

British Dictionary definitions for absolute value

absolute value

noun (maths)
the positive real number equal to a given real but disregarding its sign. Written | x |. Where r is positive, | r | = r = | –r
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
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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