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+,   Math Dictionary 
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A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 
scalar A scalar is a number (a magnitude) without a direction (compare with vector). For example, speed is a scalar; it tells you how fast something is traveling but not the direction. 
scalene triangle The sides of a scalene triangle are all different lengths. 
science Scientists study science to learn about the physical world. 
scientific notation Scientific notation is a mathematical format used to write very large and very small numbers; this system avoids using a lot of zeros by using powers (exponents). In scientific notation, there is a number between 1 and 10 multiplied by a power of ten. For example, the number 250 written in scientific notation is 2.5 x 10^{2}. For another example, the number 0.000052 written in scientific notation is 5.2 x 10^{5}. 
secant Secant (abbreviated sec) is a trigonometric ratio, corresponding to the length of the hypotenuse divided by the length of the adjacent side of the right triangle. Secant is equal to 1/cosine. 
secant line A secant line is a line that intersects a circle or curve in two places. 
second The second item comes after the first item and before the third item. Second is abbreviated 2nd. 
second A second is a measure of angle that is equal to 1/60th of a minute (a minute is 1/60th of a degree). 
second A second is a measure of time that is equal to 1/60th of a minute. 
semicircle A semicircle is half a circle. 
semimajor axis The semimajor axis of an ellipse (a flattened circle) is half the length of the line segment across the longest part of the ellipse. 
semiminor axis The semiminor axis of an ellipse (a flattened circle) is half the length of the line segment across the shortest part of the ellipse. 
1+1/2+1/3+1/4+1/5+... series A series is a sum of a sequence of numbers. 
set A set is a collection of numbers or objects. The items in a set are called the elements or members of that set. The empty set {} is also called the null set. 
seven Seven is the number between six and eight. There are seven days in the week. A heptagon is a sevensided figure. 
sine Sine (abbreviated sin) is a trigonometric ratio, corresponding to the length of the opposite side divided by the length of the hypotenuse of the right triangle. 
six Six is the number between five and seven. A sixsided figure is called a hexagon. Insects have six legs. 
skew Two lines are skew if they do not lie on the same plane and are not parallel. Skew lines do not ever intersect. 
skip counting Skip counting is counting while skipping some numbers, like 2, 4, 6, 8, .... 
slope The slope of a line (also called the rise over the run) is the steepness of a line. To find the slope of a line, look at any two points on the line, (x_{1}, y_{1}) and (x_{2}, y_{2}) and determine the rise/run, or (y_{2}y_{1})/(x_{2}x_{1}). When a linear equation is in the form: y=mx+b, m is the slope of the line (and b is the yintercept). 
solve When you solve an equation or a problem, you find solutions for it. 
sphere A sphere is a ballshaped object. The volume of a sphere is 4πr^{3}/3 (where r=radius of sphere). 
spiral A spiral is a curve that winds in on itself. Snail shells have a spiral pattern. 
square A square is a foursided figure (a quadrilateral) that has four, equally long sides which are at right angles to each other. 
square numbers Square numbers are numbers that are the square of some integer. (The square of a number is that number times itself.) Examples are: 1 (which is 1^{2}), 4 (which is 2^{2}), 9 (which is 3^{2}), 16 (which is 4^{2}), 25 (which is 5^{2}), etc. 
square root The square roots of a number n are the numbers s such that s^{2}=n. For example, the square roots of 4 are 2 and 2; the square roots of 9 are 3 and 3. 
star A star is a shape that has many points. 
subtend To subtend is to be opposite to and to delimit. For example, in the triangle above, the side labeled b subtends the angle B. 
11=0 53=2 subtraction Subtraction is an operation in which one number is taken away from another number. For example, 4  1 = 3 (four minus one equals three). A number minus itself is equal to zero (for example, 3  3 = 0). Subtraction is the inverse operation of addition. That is, a + b  b = a. Subtraction is considered to be a binary operation because it is performed on two numbers. 
subtrahend The subtrahend is the number that is subtracted from another number in a subtraction problem. 
sum The sum is the answer to an addition problem. 
x^{superscript} superscript A superscript is a raised text, usually in a smaller font. A superscript in mathematics often means a power or exponent. For example, x^{2} means x squared (or x to the second power or x times x). x^{0.5} means the square root of x. 
supplementary angle A supplementary angle is an angle that, when added to another angle, equals 180 degrees. 
! /,< +=÷¢ symbol A symbol is a mark or sign that stands for something else. For example, the symbol ÷ means divide. 
symmetry A figure exhibits symmetry when part of the figure is the mirror image of another part of the figure. For example, an object has line (or reflection) symmetry when one side of the figure is a mirror image of the other across the line of symmetry (for example, a heart has linear symmetry). An object has plane symmetry when two halves of the object are mirror reflections of each other across a plane of symmetry (for example, a cylinder has plane symmetry). An object has radial (or point) symmetry when it is symmetric around a point (for example, a circle has point symmetry since every point on the circle has a mirror image of itself across the central point). 
x + y = 3 x  y = 1 system of equations A system of equations is two or more independent equations that are solved together. For example, the system of equations: x + y = 3 and x  y = 1 has a solution of x=2 and y=1. 
+,   Math Dictionary 
x, ÷ 
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 
Counting  Addition  Subtraction  Multiplication  Division 
Number Line  Fractions  Decimals  Graphs  Measurement  Rounding 
Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject. If the math term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please email us.
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