- the branch of mathematics that deals with general statements of relations, utilizing letters and other symbols to represent specific sets of numbers, values, vectors, etc., in the description of such relations.
- any of several algebraic systems, especially a ring in which elements can be multiplied by real or complex numbers (linear algebra) as well as by other elements of the ring.
- any special system of notation adapted to the study of a special system of relationship: algebra of classes.
Origin of algebra
- a branch of mathematics in which arithmetical operations and relationships are generalized by using alphabetic symbols to represent unknown numbers or members of specified sets of numbers
- the branch of mathematics dealing with more abstract formal structures, such as sets, groups, etc
Word Origin and History for pre-algebra
1550s, from Medieval Latin algebra, from Arabic al jebr "reunion of broken parts," as in computation, used 9c. by Baghdad mathematician Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi as the title of his famous treatise on equations ("Kitab al-Jabr w'al-Muqabala" "Rules of Reintegration and Reduction"), which also introduced Arabic numerals to the West. The accent shifted 17c. from second syllable to first. The word was used in English 15c.-16c. to mean "bone-setting," probably from Arab medical men in Spain.
- A branch of mathematics in which symbols, usually letters of the alphabet, represent numbers or quantities and express general relationships that hold for all members of a specified set.