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# significant digits

plural noun, Mathematics.
1.
all the nonzero digits of a number and the zeros that are included between them or that are final zeros and signify accuracy:
The significant digits of 0.01230 are 1, 2, 3, and the final 0, which signifies accuracy to five places.
Also called significant figures.
Origin of significant digits
1920-1925
First recorded in 1920-25
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for significant figures
Historical Examples
• Solve the equation obtaining the values of the roots correct to three significant figures.

Romeyn Henry Rivenburg
• As significant figures, we shall be of more value in the world, be happier ourselves, and make others happier.

Edith E. Wiggin
• David almost breaks me down under the weight of his strong and significant figures.

British Dictionary definitions for significant figures

## significant figures

plural noun
1.
the figures of a number that express a magnitude to a specified degree of accuracy, rounding up or down the final figure: 3.141 59 to four significant figures is 3.142
2.
the number of such figures: 3.142 has four significant figures Compare decimal place (sense 2)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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significant figures in Science
 significant digits   (sĭg-nĭf'ĭ-kənt)    The digits in a decimal number that are warranted by the accuracy of the means of measurement. Significant digits are all the numbers beginning with the leftmost nonzero digit, or beginning with the first digit after the decimal point if there are no nonzero digits to the left of the decimal point, and extending to the right. For example, 302, 3.20, and 0.023 all have three significant digits.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary