**Rounding** a numerical value means replacing it by another value that is approximately equal but has a shorter, simpler, or more explicit representation; for example, replacing £23.4476 with £23.45, or the fraction 312/937 with 1/3, or the expression √2 with 1.414.

Rounding is often done on purpose to obtain a value that is easier to write and handle than the original. It may be done also to indicate the accuracy of a computed number; for example, a quantity that was computed as 123,456 but is known to be accurate only to within a few hundred units is better stated as "about 123,500."

On the other hand, rounding introduces some round-off error in the result. Rounding is almost unavoidable in many computations — especially when dividing two numbers in integer or fixed-point arithmetic; when computing mathematical functions such as square roots, logarithms, and sines; or when using a floating point representation with a fixed number of significant digits. In a sequence of calculations, these rounding errors generally accumulate, and in certain ill-conditioned cases they may make the result meaningless.

Accurate rounding of transcendental mathematical functions is difficult because the number of extra digits that need to be calculated to resolve whether to round up or down cannot be known in advance. This problem is known as "the table-maker's dilemma".

Rounding has many similarities to the quantization that occurs when physical quantities must be encoded by numbers or digital signals.

Read more about Rounding: Types of Rounding, Rounding To A Specified Increment, Rounding To Integer, Tie-breaking, Dithering and Error Diffusion, Rounding To Simple Fractions, Scaled Rounding, Round To Available Value, Floating-point Rounding, Double Rounding, Exact Computation With Rounded Arithmetic, The Table-maker's Dilemma, History, Rounding Functions in Programming Languages

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Bend in the swollen river; not to see ahead

Becomes the only predicament when what

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—John Ashbery (b. 1927)

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—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

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—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)