mantissa

[man-tis-uh]
noun
  1. Mathematics. the decimal part of a common logarithm.Compare characteristic(def 3a).
  2. 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

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British Dictionary definitions for mantissa

mantissa

noun
  1. 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)

Word Origin for mantissa

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
n.

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

mantissa in Science

mantissa

[măn-tĭsə]
  1. 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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