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least squares

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noun Statistics.
  1. a method of estimating values from a set of observations by minimizing the sum of the squares of the differences between the observations and the values to be found.
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Origin of least squares

First recorded in 1860–65
Also called least-squares method, method of least squares.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for least-squares method

least squares

noun
  1. a method for determining the best value of an unknown quantity relating one or more sets of observations or measurements, esp to find a curve that best fits a set of data. It states that the sum of the squares of the deviations of the experimentally determined value from its optimum value should be a minimum
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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