# Roman numeral

### noun

one of the numerals in the ancient Roman system of notation, still used for certain limited purposes, as in some pagination, dates on buildings, etc. The common basic symbols are I (=1), V (=5), X (=10), L (=50), C (=100), D (=500), and M (=1000). The Roman numerals for one to nine are: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX. A bar over a letter multiplies it by 1000; thus, X̅ equals 10,000. Integers are written according to these two rules: If a letter is immediately followed by one of equal or lesser value, the two values are added; thus, XX equals 20, XV equals 15, VI equals 6. If a letter is immediately followed by one of greater value, the first is subtracted from the second; thus, IV equals 4, XL equals 40, CM equals 900. Examples: XLVII(=47), CXVI(=116), MCXX(=1120), MCMXIV(=1914). Roman numerals may be written in lowercase letters, though they appear more commonly in capitals.

## RELATED CONTENT

How To Use Roman NumeralsRoman numerals are a collection of symbols that make up the number system that was used by the ancient Romans. Today, Roman numerals are more commonly used in titles, to number parts of works, in music theory, and on clock faces. Where do you see Roman numerals most often? The Symbols The Roman numeral system uses only seven symbols: I, V, X, L, C, D, …

## Origin of Roman numeral

First recorded in 1725–35

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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