Unknown quantities
Quantity Quan"ti*ty, n.; pl. {Quantities}. [F. quantite, L. quantitas, fr. quantus bow great, how much, akin to quam bow, E. how, who. See {Who}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The attribute of being so much, and not more or less; the property of being measurable, or capable of increase and decrease, multiplication and division; greatness; and more concretely, that which answers the question ``How much?''; measure in regard to bulk or amount; determinate or comparative dimensions; measure; amount; bulk; extent; size. Hence, in specific uses: (a) (Logic) The extent or extension of a general conception, that is, the number of species or individuals to which it may be applied; also, its content or comprehension, that is, the number of its constituent qualities, attributes, or relations. (b) (Gram.) The measure of a syllable; that which determines the time in which it is pronounced; as, the long or short quantity of a vowel or syllable. (c) (Mus.) The relative duration of a tone. [1913 Webster]

2. That which can be increased, diminished, or measured; especially (Math.), anything to which mathematical processes are applicable. [1913 Webster]

Note: Quantity is discrete when it is applied to separate objects, as in number; continuous, when the parts are connected, either in succession, as in time, motion, etc., or in extension, as by the dimensions of space, viz., length, breadth, and thickness. [1913 Webster]

3. A determinate or estimated amount; a sum or bulk; a certain portion or part; sometimes, a considerable amount; a large portion, bulk, or sum; as, a medicine taken in quantities, that is, in large quantities. [1913 Webster]

The quantity of extensive and curious information which he had picked up during many months of desultory, but not unprofitable, study. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

{Quantity of estate} (Law), its time of continuance, or degree of interest, as in fee, for life, or for years. --Wharton (Law Dict. )

{Quantity of matter}, in a body, its mass, as determined by its weight, or by its momentum under a given velocity.

{Quantity of motion} (Mech.), in a body, the relative amount of its motion, as measured by its momentum, varying as the product of mass and velocity.

{Known quantities} (Math.), quantities whose values are given.

{Unknown quantities} (Math.), quantities whose values are sought. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Quantities — Quantity Quan ti*ty, n.; pl. {Quantities}. [F. quantite, L. quantitas, fr. quantus bow great, how much, akin to quam bow, E. how, who. See {Who}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The attribute of being so much, and not more or less; the property of being… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Known quantities — Quantity Quan ti*ty, n.; pl. {Quantities}. [F. quantite, L. quantitas, fr. quantus bow great, how much, akin to quam bow, E. how, who. See {Who}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The attribute of being so much, and not more or less; the property of being… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Reciprocal quantities — Reciprocal Re*cip ro*cal (r[ e]*s[i^]p r[ o]*kal), a. [L. reciprocus; of unknown origin.] 1. Recurring in vicissitude; alternate. [1913 Webster] 2. Done by each to the other; interchanging or interchanged; given and received; due from each to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nine Unknown Men — According to occult lore, the Nine Unknown Men are a two millennia old secret society founded by the Indian Emperor Asoka c. 270 BCE. According to the legend, upon his conversion to Buddhism after a massacre during one of his wars, the Emperor… …   Wikipedia

  • History of algebra — Elementary algebra is the branch of mathematics that deals with solving for the operands of arithmetic equations. Modern or abstract algebra has its origins as an abstraction of elementary algebra. Historians know that the earliest mathematical… …   Wikipedia

  • mathematics — /math euh mat iks/, n. 1. (used with a sing. v.) the systematic treatment of magnitude, relationships between figures and forms, and relations between quantities expressed symbolically. 2. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) mathematical procedures,… …   Universalium

  • New algebra — The new algebra or symbolic analysis is a formalization of algebra promoted by François Viète in 1591 and by his successors (after 1603). It marks the beginning of the algebraic formalization (late sixteenth the early seventeenth centuries).… …   Wikipedia

  • algebra, elementary — Introduction       branch of mathematics that deals with the general properties of numbers and the relations between them. Algebra is fundamental not only to all further mathematics and statistics but to the natural sciences, computer science,… …   Universalium

  • Brahmagupta — (audio|Brahmagupta pronounced.ogg|listen) (598–668) was an Indian mathematician and astronomer. Life and work Brahmagupta was born in 598 CE in Bhinmal city in the state of Rajasthan of northwest India. He likely lived most of his life in… …   Wikipedia

  • algebra — /al jeuh breuh/, n. 1. 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. 2. any of… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”