of or relating to commutation, exchange, substitution, or interchange.
- (of a binary operation) having the property that one term operating on a second is equal to the second operating on the first, as a × b = b × a.
- having reference to this property: commutative law for multiplication.
Origin of commutative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
relating to or involving substitution
- (of an operator) giving the same result irrespective of the order of the arguments; thus disjunction and addition are commutative but implication and subtraction are not
- relating to this propertythe commutative law of addition
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
1530s, from Medieval Latin commutativus, from Latin commutat-, past participle stem of commutare (see commute (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Of or relating to binary operations for which changing the order of the inputs does not change the result of the operation. For example, addition is commutative, since a + b = b + a for any two numbers a and b, while subtraction is not commutative, since a - b ≠ a - b unless both a and b are zero. See also associative distributive.
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