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known quantity

Mathematics. a quantity whose value is given: in algebra, frequently represented by a letter from the first part of the alphabet, as a, b, or c.
any factor, circumstance, etc., that is already accepted or familiar:
Her honesty is a known quantity.
Origin of known quantity
First recorded in 1975-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Historical Examples
  • I should thus get the half weight of my body—a known quantity, you will recollect.

    The Cliff Climbers Captain Mayne Reid
  • These tanks are filled with water and a known quantity of slaked lime.

    The Manufacture of Paper Robert Walter Sindall
  • The individual with the point of view must, of course, be a known quantity.

    The Serf Guy Thorne
  • The temper of Lady Dawlish is a known quantity, and the quality of it is alarming.

  • She had an atomic weight upon which you could depend as upon any other known quantity.

    Unveiling a Parallel

    Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Marchant

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