# absolute value

[ ab-suh-loot val-yoo ]

## noun

, Mathematics.
1. Also called nu·mer·i·cal val·ue [noo-, mer, -i-k, uh, l , val, -yoo, nyoo-]. the magnitude of a quantity, irrespective of sign; the distance of a quantity from zero. The absolute value of a number is symbolized by two vertical lines, as |3| or |−3| is equal to 3.
2. the square root of the sum of the squares of the real and imaginary parts of a given complex number, as |a + b i | is equal to .

absolute value

## noun

1. the positive real number equal to a given real but disregarding its sign. Written | x |. Where r is positive, | r | = r = | – r |
2. Also calledmodulus a measure of the magnitude of a complex number, represented by the length of a line in the Argand diagram: | x + i y | = √( x ² + y ²), so | 4 + 3i | = 5
“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

absolute value

1. The value of a number without regard to its sign. For example, the absolute value of +3 (written ‖+3‖) and the absolute value of −3 (written ‖−3‖) are both 3.

Discover More

## Word History and Origins

Origin of absolute value1

First recorded in 1905–10
Discover More

## Example Sentences

These market forces leave every other online media organization to fight over crumbs and potentially face an extinction moment if they cannot harness the absolute value of their audiences on and offsite.

From Digiday

But left us not forget that no service has a fixed and absolute value, compared with others.

I attribute the same absolute value to the physical sciences.

The absolute value of a thing, then, is its cost in time and expense.

Most assayers, however, using a micrometer in this way, would like to know its absolute value.

Those of the first kind give the absolute value of the magnetic elements at the time of observation.