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# numerator vs. denominator

## numerator vs. denominator: What's the difference?

In a fraction (like ⅜), the top number (3) is called the numerator, and the bottom number (8) is called the denominator. The denominator indicates how many segments the whole is divided into; the numerator indicates how many of those segments there are (the fraction ⅜ means there are three segments out of a possible eight). When a fraction is considered as a division equation, the numerator is the dividend; the denominator is the divisor.

## numerator

[ noo-muh-rey-ter, nyoo- ]
noun
1. the term of a fraction, usually above the line, that indicates the number of equal parts that are to be added together; the dividend placed over a divisor: The numerator of the fraction 2/3 is 2.
2. a person or thing that numbers.

## denominator

[ dih-nom-uh-ney-ter ]
noun
1. that term of a fraction, usually written under the line, that indicates the number of equal parts into which the unit is divided; divisor.
2. something shared or held in common; standard.
3. a person or thing that denominates.