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*numerator*# 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.

[ noo-muh-rey-ter, nyoo- ]

noun

- 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.
- a person or thing that numbers.

[ dih-nom-uh-ney-ter ]

noun

- that term of a fraction, usually written under the line, that indicates the number of equal parts into which the unit is divided; divisor.
- something shared or held in common; standard.
- a person or thing that denominates.