What does algebra mean?

Definitions for algebra
ˈæl dʒə brəal·ge·bra

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word algebra.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. algebranoun

    the mathematics of generalized arithmetical operations


  1. algebranoun

    A system for computation using letters or other symbols to represent numbers, with rules for manipulating these symbols

  2. algebranoun

    The study of algebraic structures

  3. algebranoun

    A universal algebra

  4. algebranoun

    An algebraic structure consisting of a module of a commutative ring along with an additional binary operation that is bilinear

  5. algebranoun

    A collection of subsets of a given set, such that this collection contains the empty set, and the collection is closed under unions and complements (and thereby also under intersections and differences)

  6. algebranoun

    One of several other types of mathematical structure

  7. Etymology: Medieval, from al-jabr “reunion, resetting of broken parts”

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ALGEBRAnoun

    This is a peculiar kind of arithmetick, which takes the quantity sought, whether it be a number or a line, or any other quantity, as if it were granted, and, by means of one or more quantities given, proceeds by consequence, till the quantity at first only supposed to be known, or at least some power thereof, is found to be equal to some quantity or quantities which are known, and consequently itself is known. The origin of this art is very obscure. It was in use, however, among the Arabs, long before it came into this part of the world; and they are supposed to have borrowed it from the Persians, and the Persians from the Indians. The first Greek author of algebra was Diophantus, who, about the year 800, wrote thirteen books. In 1494, Lucas Pacciolus, or Lucas de Burgos, a cordelier, printed a treatise of algebra, in Italian, at Venice. He says, that algebra came originally from the Arabs, and never mentions Diophantus; which makes it probable, that that authour was not yet known in Europe; whose method was very different from that of the Arabs, observed by Pacciolus and his first European followers. His algebra goes no farther than simple and quadratick equations; and only some of the others advanced to the solution of culick equations. After several improvements by Vieta, Oughtred, Harriot, Descartes, Isaac Newton brought this art to the height at which it still continues. Antoine Furetière Ephraim Chambers

    Etymology: an Arabick word of uncertain etymology; derived, by some, from Geber the philosopher; by some, from gefr, parchment; by others, from algehista, a bone-setter; by Gilles Ménage, from algiatarat, the restitution of things broken.

    It would surely require no very profound skill in algebra, to reduce the difference of ninepence in thirty shillings. Jonathan Swift.


  1. Algebra

    Algebra (from Arabic ‏الجبر‎ (al-jabr) 'reunion of broken parts, bonesetting') is one of the broad areas of mathematics. Roughly speaking, algebra is the study of mathematical symbols and the rules for manipulating these symbols in formulas; it is a unifying thread of almost all of mathematics.Elementary algebra deals with the manipulation of variables as if they were numbers (see the image), and is therefore essential in all applications of mathematics. Abstract algebra is the name given in education to the study of algebraic structures such as groups, rings, and fields. Linear algebra, which deals with linear equations and linear mappings, is used for modern presentations of geometry, and has many practical applications (in weather forecasting, for example). There are many areas of mathematics that belong to algebra, some having "algebra" in their name, such as commutative algebra and some not, such as Galois theory. The word algebra is not only used for naming an area of mathematics and some subareas; it is also used for naming some sorts of algebraic structures, such as an algebra over a field, commonly called an algebra. Sometimes, the same phrase is used for a subarea and its main algebraic structures; for example, Boolean algebra and a Boolean algebra. A mathematician specialized in algebra is called an algebraist.


  1. algebra

    Algebra is a branch of mathematics that uses symbols, letters and numbers to represent and solve equations, perform calculations and analyze relationships. It includes various subsets such as elementary, abstract, linear, and universal algebra, each with its own specific focus. These symbols and letters in algebra are called variables, and they stand in for unknown values that mathematicians, engineers, scientists, and others seek to discover or explain.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Algebranoun

    that branch of mathematics which treats of the relations and properties of quantity by means of letters and other symbols. It is applicable to those relations that are true of every kind of magnitude

  2. Algebranoun

    a treatise on this science

  3. Etymology: [LL. algebra, fr. Ar. al-jebr reduction of parts to a whole, or fractions to whole numbers, fr. jabara to bind together, consolidate; al-jebr w'almuqbalah reduction and comparison (by equations): cf. F. algbre, It. & Sp. algebra.]


  1. Algebra

    Algebra is one of the broad parts of mathematics, together with number theory, geometry and analysis. For historical reasons, the word "algebra" has several related meanings in mathematics, as a single word or with qualifiers. ⁕As a single word without article, "algebra" names a broad part of mathematics. ⁕As a single word with article or in plural, "algebra" denote a specific mathematical structure. See algebra and algebra over a field. ⁕With a qualifier, there is the same distinction: ⁕Without article, it means a part of algebra, like linear algebra, elementary algebra, or abstract algebra. ⁕With an article, it means an instance of some abstract structure, like a Lie algebra or an associative algebra. ⁕Frequently both meanings exist for the same qualifier, like in the sentence: Commutative algebra is the study of commutative rings, that all are commutative algebras over the integers. ⁕Sometimes "algebra" is also used to denote the operations and methods related to algebra in the study of a structure that does not belong to algebra. For example algebra of infinite series may denotes the methods for computing with series without using the notions of infinite summation, limits and convergence.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Algebra

    al′je-bra, n. a method of calculating by symbols—by means of letters employed to represent the numbers, and signs to represent their relations, thus forming a kind of universal arithmetic.—adjs. Algebrā′ic, -al, pertaining to algebra.—n. Algebrā′ist, one skilled in algebra. [It. and Sp., from Ar. al-jebr, the resetting of anything broken, hence combination; jabara, to reunite.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Algebra

    a universal arithmetic of Arabian origin or Arabian transmission, in which symbols are employed to denote operations, and letters to represent number and quantity.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. algebra

    A general method of resolving mathematical problems, by means of equations, or rather computing abstract quantities by symbols or signs; a literal arithmetic.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. algebra

    A peculiar kind of mathematical analysis allied to arithmetic and geometry.

Suggested Resources

  1. algebra

    Song lyrics by algebra -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by algebra on the Lyrics.com website.

  2. Algebra

    Algebra vs. Mathematics -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Algebra and Mathematics.

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How to pronounce algebra?

How to say algebra in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of algebra in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of algebra in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of algebra in a Sentence

  1. Rachel Miller of Albany:

    I just don’t know how to help him, if there’s a history assignment — or even a science problem that I have no idea about — I can look it up on the Internet. I can’t do that with algebra.

  2. Fran Lebowitz:

    Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.

  3. Brian Federico:

    I taught my fourth-grader algebra to solve some problems because the other way was a pain to learn.

  4. Dejan Stojanovic:

    It is vain futility to analyze the algebra of time.

  5. Link Starbureiy:

    Economics is all algebra.

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Translations for algebra

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