A number is a mathematical object used to count, label, and measure. In mathematics, the definition of number has been extended over the years to include such numbers as zero, negative numbers, rational numbers, irrational numbers, and complex numbers.
Mathematical operations are certain procedures that take one or more numbers as input and produce a number as output. Unary operations take a single input number and produce a single output number. For example, the successor operation adds one to an integer, thus the successor of 4 is 5. Binary operations take two input numbers and produce a single output number. Examples of binary operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and exponentiation. The study of numerical operations is called arithmetic.
A notational symbol that represents a number is called a numeral. In addition to their use in counting and measuring, numerals are often used for labels (telephone numbers), for ordering (serial numbers), and for codes (e.g., ISBNs).
In common use, the word number can mean the abstract object, the symbol, or the word for the number.
Famous quotes containing the word number:
“A great number of the disappointments and mishaps of the troubled world are the direct result of literature and the allied arts. It is our belief that no human being who devotes his life and energy to the manufacture of fantasies can be anything but fundamentally inadequate”
—Christopher Hampton (b. 1946)
“I am walking over hot coals suspended over a deep pit at the bottom of which are a large number of vipers baring their fangs.”
—John Major (b. 1943)
“The basis of successful relief in national distress is to mobilize and organize the infinite number of agencies of self help in the community. That has been the American way.”
—Herbert Hoover (18741964)