[bahy-noh-mee-uh l]
  1. Algebra. an expression that is a sum or difference of two terms, as 3x + 2y and x2 − 4x.
  2. Zoology, Botany. a taxonomic name consisting of a generic and a specific term, used to designate species.
  1. Algebra. consisting of or pertaining to two terms or a binomial.
  2. Zoology, Botany. consisting of or characterized by binomials.

Origin of binomial

1550–60; < Late Latin binōmi(us) having two names (compare Latin binōminis) + -al1. See bi-1, nominal
Related formsbi·no·mi·al·ism, nounbi·no·mi·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for binomial

Historical Examples of binomial

  • A binomial in algebra is a quantity consisting of two terms.


    Elmer W. Cavins

  • The dot is used to indicate that the root of the binomial (not of 136 alone) is called for.

    William Oughtred

    Florian Cajori

  • You might as well try to rush the Proof of the Binomial Theorem.

  • Review the method of finding the square root of a binomial surd.

    A Review of Algebra

    Romeyn Henry Rivenburg

  • (a) Write the middle term of the expansion of by the binomial theorem.

    A Review of Algebra

    Romeyn Henry Rivenburg

British Dictionary definitions for binomial


  1. a mathematical expression consisting of two terms, such as 3 x + 2 y
  2. a two-part taxonomic name for an animal or plantSee binomial nomenclature
  1. referring to two names or terms
Derived Formsbinomially, adverb

Word Origin for binomial

C16: from Medieval Latin binōmius from bi- 1 + Latin nōmen name
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 binomial

1550s (n.); 1560s (adj.), from Late Latin binomius "having two personal names," a hybrid from bi- (see bi-) + nomius, from nomen (see name (n.)). Taken up 16c. in the algebraic sense "consisting of two terms."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

binomial in Medicine


  1. Consisting of two terms or names, such as the genus and species names of organisms.
  1. A taxonomic name used in binomial nomenclature.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

binomial in Science


  1. A mathematical expression that is the sum of two monomials, such as 3a + 2b.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.