Mathematical Vocabulary Words Study Guide

Updated on Jul 15, 2011

Read the following study guide for a concept review:

Mathematical Vocabulary Words Practice Exercises

What? There's a lesson on math in the middle of a vocabulary book? Yes, it's true. Believe it or not, math and words are not mutually exclusive

Some of the most common mathematical terms you'll run into during your life are included here. It may be in math class, while trying to balance your checking or savings account, helping someone with his or her math homework, or refinancing a house.

Knowing these terms will help you better understand what you read or hear about math concepts and numbers. Some you probably already know, so take a moment and review; then when someone starts spouting equations and formulas, you'll be ready to respond intelligently.


  • aggregate     sum total; a whole made up of different parts; total or gross amount
  • algebra     mathematics that utilizes letters as symbols; math that deals with general statements of relations
  • algorithm     a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps; a problem-solving procedure
  • annuity     money paid at regular intervals for a fixed period; investment paying an annual sum
  • calculus     a method of calculation that uses symbols or symbolic logic; computation
  • circumference     the distance around a circle or another object; the outer boundary of a circular area; perimeter
  • commodity     a traded item or useful thing; an article of trade or commerce
  • deficit     the amount by which a sum of money falls short of the required amount; shortfall; a lack or shortage
  • denominator     the number below the line in a fraction indicating the number of parts making up the whole

[In the nonmath world, this word often means a common characteristic between people or things.]

  • diameter     a line running from one side of a circle to another; the width of a circular object
  • equation     the act of equating or making equal; an expression or a proposition asserting the equality of two quantities
  • fiscal     of or pertaining to the public treasury or revenues, or financial matters in general
  • geometry     mathematics of shapes; the branch of mathematics that deals with the deduction of the properties, measurement, and relationships of points, lines, angles, and figures in space
  • inflation     higher prices; a persistent, substantial rise in the general level of prices
  • integer     a member of the set of positive whole numbers; the whole number, unit, or entity
  • median     middle point; the middle in a set of ordered values; noting or pertaining to a plane dividing something into two equal parts; the middle number in a sequence of numbers, taken as the average of the two middle numbers; midpoint
  • perpendicular     at right angles; vertical; straight up and down; meeting at a given line or surface at right angles
  • promissory     usually used in insurance, indicating contract provisions; generally means containing a promise
  • recession     a decline in economic activity; a period of economic contraction
  • scarcity     an insufficiency or shortness of supply; rarity

Read the following study guide for a concept review:

Mathematical Vocabulary Words Practice Exercises

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