ordinal number

  1. Also called ordinal numeral. any of the numbers that express degree, quality, or position in a series, as first, second, and third (distinguished from cardinal number).

  2. Mathematics. a symbol denoting both the cardinal number and the ordering of a given set, being identical for two ordered sets having elements that can be placed into one-to-one correspondence, the correspondence preserving the order of the elements.

Origin of ordinal number

First recorded in 1600–10

Words Nearby ordinal number

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How to use ordinal number in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ordinal number

ordinal number

  1. a number denoting relative position in a sequence, such as first, second, third: Sometimes shortened to: ordinal

  2. logic maths a measure of not only the size of a set but also the order of its elements

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

Scientific definitions for ordinal number

ordinal number

[ ôrdn-əl ]

  1. A number, such as 3rd, 11th, or 412th, used in counting to indicate position in a series but not quantity. Compare cardinal number.

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