- Mathematics. the decimal part of a common logarithm.Compare characteristic(def 3a).
- Obsolete. an addition of little or no importance, as to a literary work.
Origin of mantissa
1860–65; < Latin, variant of mantisa addition, makeweight, said to be from Etruscan; logarithmic mantissa so called because it is additional to the characteristic or integral part (term introduced by H. Briggs)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for mantissa
Linnæus, however, says that his plant came from India (Mantissa, p. 273).Origin of Cultivated Plants
Alphonse De Candolle
The integral part of a logarithm is called the index or characteristic, and the fractional part the mantissa.
Mantissa Plantarum, generum editionis sextæ et specierum editionis secundæ.Lives of Eminent Zoologists, from Aristotle to Linnus
Linnæus has described this plant minutely in his Mantissa Plant, so that no doubt remains of its being his maritimus.
Linnæus originally confounded it with a similar plant, the Draba alpina, a mistake since rectified in his Mantissa Plant.
- the fractional part of a common logarithm representing the digits of the associated number but not its magnitudethe mantissa of 2.4771 is .4771 Compare characteristic (def. 2a)
C17: from Latin: something added, of Etruscan origin
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 mantissa
decimal part of a logarithm, 1865, from Latin mantisa "a worthless addition, makeweight," perhaps a Gaulish word introduced into Latin via Etruscan (cf. Old Irish meit, Welsh maint "size").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The part of a logarithm to the base ten that is to the right of the decimal point. For example, if 2.749 is a logarithm, .749 is the mantissa. Compare characteristic.
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