datum

[ dey-tuh m, dat-uh m, dah-tuh m ]
/ ˈdeɪ təm, ˈdæt əm, ˈdɑ təm /

noun, plural da·ta [dey-tuh, dat-uh, dah-tuh] /ˈdeɪ tə, ˈdæt ə, ˈdɑ tə/ for 1–3, da·tums for 4, 5.

a single piece of information, as a fact, statistic, or code; an item of data.
Philosophy.
  1. any fact assumed to be a matter of direct observation.
  2. any proposition assumed or given, from which conclusions may be drawn.
Also called sense datum. Epistemology. the object of knowledge as presented to the mind.Compare ideatum.
Surveying, Civil Engineering. any level surface, line, or point used as a reference in measuring elevations.
Surveying. a basis for horizontal control surveys, consisting of the longitude and latitude of a certain point, the azimuth of a certain line from this point, and two constants used in defining the terrestrial spheroid.

Nearby words

Origin of datum

1640–50; < Latin: a thing given, neuter past participle of dare to give
Can be confuseddata datum (see usage note at data)

Usage note

See data.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for datum

British Dictionary definitions for datum

datum

/ (ˈdeɪtəm, ˈdɑːtəm) /

noun plural -ta (-tə)

a single piece of information; fact
a proposition taken for granted, often in order to construct some theoretical framework upon it; a givenSee also sense datum

Word Origin for datum

C17: from Latin: something given; see data
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 datum

datum


n.

proper Latin singular of data (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper