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Multiplier, Sum, Difference, Product, Quotient, Dividend

Date: 11/25/97 at 12:12:55
From: Corinne
Subject: What is this term?

I am just wondering, but what is a multiplier? I have to know for my 
math class, which is grade 9. I have looked all over and can't find 

Date: 11/25/97 at 16:25:56
From: Doctor Terrel
Subject: Re: What is this term?


Multiplier is a term that we don't use much any more, but it simply is 
the second number in a two-part multiplication problem.  Observe;

   450    multiplicand
  x 30    multiplier
 13500    product

We tend to use the basic word "factor" nowadays. "Multiplier" is part 
of an older way of naming things.  For subtraction, we have

   592   minuend
 - 148   subtrahend
   444   difference

For addition:

    861  addend  (or even augend)
  + 403  addend
   1264  sum (or total)

For division:

   600 / 25 = 24   dividend / divisor = quotient

Does that help?

-Doctor Terrel,  The Math Forum
 Check out our web site!   

Date: 02/04/2003 at 15:37:56
From: Loretta
Subject: Subtraction terms

Where did the terms minuend and subtrahend come from?

Date: 02/04/2003 at 16:02:20
From: Doctor Peterson
Subject: Re: Subtraction terms

Hi, Loretta.

These both come from Latin words.

Minuend comes from "minuere," which means "to diminish, or reduce." 
Our words "diminish" and "minus" come from the same root.

Subtrahend comes from "subtrahere," which means "to take away." Our 
word "subtract" comes from this root.

The "-end" ending on a verb in Latin says "that which is to be Xed," 
as in "memorandum" which means "that which is to be remembered."

So "minuend" means "that which is to be reduced," the number you are 
taking something away from; and "subtrahend" means "that which is to 
be taken away," the number you are subtracting from the minuend.

If we knew Latin, this would be almost obvious, wouldn't it?

- Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum 

Date: 02/04/2003 at 21:37:15
From: Jenna
Subject: Division

Why is the number that is being divided the "dividend"?

Date: 02/05/2003 at 10:13:25
From: Doctor Sarah
Subject: Re: Division

Hi Jenna - thanks for writing to Dr. Math.

From Steven Schwartzman's _The Words of Mathematics - An Etymological 
Dictionary of Mathematical Terms Used in English_ (Mathematical 
Association of America):

dividend (noun):
from Latin dividere "to divide," with the suffix -nd-, which creates a 
type of passive causative, so that Latin numerus dividendus meant "the 
number to be divided." In the statement 6/3=2, the 6 is the dividend 
because it is the number that is to be divided by 3.  In finance, the 
profits that a company makes are to be divided up and given to the 
shareholders, each of whom receives a dividend.

- Doctor Sarah, The Math Forum 
Associated Topics:
Elementary Addition
Elementary Definitions
Elementary Division
Elementary Multiplication
Elementary Subtraction
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Division

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