- of or relating to commutation, exchange, substitution, or interchange.
- (of a binary operation) having the property that one term operating on a second is equal to the second operating on the first, as a × b = b × a.
- having reference to this property: commutative law for multiplication.
Origin of commutative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for commutative
“Simple” practice involves an application of the commutative law.
Negative Numbers may be regarded as resulting from the commutative law for addition and subtraction.
This is included in the preceding, but it is simpler in that the various operations are commutative.
Often the meaning of a sentence tacitly implies that the commutative law does not hold.
- relating to or involving substitution
- maths logic
- (of an operator) giving the same result irrespective of the order of the arguments; thus disjunction and addition are commutative but implication and subtraction are not
- relating to this propertythe commutative law of addition
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
Word Origin and History for commutative
1530s, from Medieval Latin commutativus, from Latin commutat-, past participle stem of commutare (see commute (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Of or relating to binary operations for which changing the order of the inputs does not change the result of the operation. For example, addition is commutative, since a + b = b + a for any two numbers a and b, while subtraction is not commutative, since a - b ≠ a - b unless both a and b are zero. See also associative distributive.
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