square root

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square root ‎(plural square roots)

  1. (mathematics) Of a number, another number which, when squared, yields the original number; sometimes constrained to be the positive number when two solutions exist.
    Every complex number has two square roots; for example, the square roots of −4 are 2i and −2i.

Usage notes[edit]

Even in mathematical contexts, square root generally means positive square root. If there is a chance of ambiguity, prefer constructions like a square root or a complex square root to indicate the strict definition, or the positive square root or similar to indicate the looser sense.


See also[edit]