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probable error

noun, Statistics.
a quantity formerly used as a measure of variability: equal to 0.6745 times the standard deviation. A normally distributed population has half of its elements within one probable error of the mean.
Origin of probable error
First recorded in 1805-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for probable error
Historical Examples
  • We still have a probable error of several miles in hitting the target.

  • The ambiguous term .05 is sometimes called the probable error.

  • The smaller the probable error, the more reliable is the mean result.

  • Similarly, on the left hand, the probable error is op', and the measurement at p' is 76.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • Further, this error would form part of the probable error deduced from the results of observations.

  • Even whilst writing this very Essay I have given an order with regard to which I foresaw a probable error.

    Human Intercourse Philip Gilbert Hamerton
  • Various authorities will give different estimates of the probable error in observations taken at the Pole.

    The North Pole Robert E. Peary
  • For each measurement, the coefficient of variation, standard deviation and probable error were computed.

    American Weasels E. Raymond Hall
  • Still, many skulls deviate from the average, and we should like to know what is the probable error in this case.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • I should not know how to estimate the volume of outside dealings within many billions of "probable error."

    The Value of Money Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.
probable error in Science
probable error
The amount by which the arithmetic mean of a sample is expected to vary because of chance alone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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