square root

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

square root (plural square roots)

  1. English Wikipedia has an article on:
    Wikipedia
    (mathematics) The number which, when squared, yields another number.
    The square roots of 4 are 2 and −2, the square root of 0 is 0, and the square roots of −4 are 2i and −2i.
    • a. 1992, Frederick Mosteller, "Writing about Numbers", in, 1992, John C. Bailar III and Frederick Mosteller, editors, Medical Uses of Statistics, second edition, page 388[1]:
      In √a̅+̅b̅, the horizontal bar or vinculum is actually a parenthesis that groups a+b. Without it, √a+b might mean b+√a̅ or it might mean √a̅+̅b̅. Nevertheless, the square-root sign without the vinculum is often used [] .
  2. (mathematics) The positive number which, when squared, yields another number; the principal square root.
    The square root of 4 is 2. No negative real square roots exist. Negative numbers have no real square roots.

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 first definition, or the positive square root or similar to indicate the second sense.

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