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# cardinal number

noun
1.
Also called cardinal numeral. any of the numbers that express amount, as one, two, three, etc. (distinguished from ordinal number).
2.
Also called potency, power. Mathematics. a number or symbol analogous to the number of elements in a finite set, being identical for two sets that can be placed into one-to-one correspondence:
The cardinal number of the set a1, a2, … an is n.
Origin of cardinal number
1585-1595
First recorded in 1585-95
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cardinal numbers
Historical Examples
• In computing time, ordinal numbers are reckoned the same as cardinal numbers.

John E. Remsburg
• The cardinal numbers never change their forms for case or number.

• In one sense the cardinal numbers form no part of a work on etymology.

Robert Gordon Latham
• The same is the case with some of the pronouns and many of the cardinal numbers.

• Few persons have an adequate idea of the important part the cardinal numbers are now playing in the cause of Liberty.

Hinton Rowan Helper
• It includes all the cardinal numbers, and, as the completion of multiplicity, is used to indicate a perfect whole.

F. W. Farrar
• Also in addition to the cardinal numbers there are the ordinal numbers: the fifth apple and the tenth pear claim thought.

• Generally speaking, the greater part of the cardinal numbers are undeclined.

Robert Gordon Latham
• This whole process is familiar; it gives the series of the positive whole numbers, that is, the cardinal numbers.

• Fractionals are formed by adding the suffix -on (plus the endings o, a, or e as required) to the cardinal numbers.

William W. Mann
British Dictionary definitions for cardinal numbers

## cardinal number

noun
1.
a number denoting quantity but not order in a set Sometimes shortened to cardinal
2.
(maths, logic)
1. a measure of the size of a set that does not take account of the order of its members Compare natural number
2. a particular number having this function
Compare ordinal number
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cardinal numbers

## cardinal number

n.

1590s, "one, two, three," etc. as opposed to ordinal numbers "first, second, third," etc.; so called because they are the principal numbers and the ordinals depend on them (see cardinal (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cardinal numbers in Science
 cardinal number   (kär'dn-əl)    A number, such as 3, 11, or 412, used in counting to indicate quantity but not order. Compare ordinal number.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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cardinal numbers in Culture

### cardinal numbers definition

Numbers that indicate the quantity of things in a group or set, but not the order or arrangement of those things. One, two, and one thousand are cardinal numbers. (Compare ordinal numbers.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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### Difficulty index for cardinal number

Few English speakers likely know this word

### Word Value for cardinal

11
14
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