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the method or process of computation with figures: the most elementary branch of mathematics.
Also called higher arithmetic, theoretical arithmetic. the theory of numbers; the study of the divisibility of whole numbers, the remainders after division, etc.
a book on this subject.
Also, arithmetical. of or relating to arithmetic.
Contemporary Examples

This article has been corrected to rectify an arithmetic mistake.
Rethinking Thin Megan McArdle January 9, 2013

The arithmetic of bombing is just that remorseless, leading to the novel’s most famous joke: “People are trying to kill me.”
David’s Bookclub: Catch-22 David Frum December 28, 2012

Of course, the arithmetic has become much crueler since the Clinton administration.
Democrats’ Negotiator in Chief Lloyd Grove May 18, 2011

This is what happens when you let your gut do arithmetic for you.
The Independent Rundown, November 13 Matthew DeLuca November 12, 2012

“The president has promised to change the arithmetic,” says Rothenberg.
Obama Could Win in 2014 Midterms by Losing Legislative Battles Now Eleanor Clift April 9, 2013

Historical Examples

However, just then her class in arithmetic was called, so that she had no more time to be puzzled.
Understood Betsy Dorothy Canfield

She looked at the book, which looked exactly like Colburn’s arithmetic.
Five Mice in a Mouse-trap Laura E. Richards

He was afterwards removed to another, where he learned writing and arithmetic.
Notable Voyagers W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith

Can we deny that a warrior should have a knowledge of arithmetic?
The Republic Plato

He accordingly changed his first purpose, and sent Benjamin to a school for writing and arithmetic, kept by Mr. George Brownwell.
The Life of Benjamin Franklin Samuel G. Goodrich

the branch of mathematics concerned with numerical calculations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
one or more calculations involving numerical operations
knowledge of or skill in using arithmetic: his arithmetic is good
adjective (ˌærɪθˈmɛtɪk)
of, relating to, or using arithmetic

mid-13c., arsmetike, from Old French arsmetique (12c.), from Latin arithmetica, from Greek arithmetike (tekhne) “(the) counting (art),” fem. of arithmetikos “of or for reckoning, arithmetical,” from arithmos “number, counting, amount,” from PIE root *re(i)- “to reason, count” (cf. Old English, Old High German rim “number;” Old Irish rim “number,” dorimu “I count;” Latin ritus “religious custom;” see read).

Originally in English also arsmetrik, on folk etymology from Medieval Latin ars metrica; spelling corrected early 16c. Replaced native tælcræft, literally “tell-craft.”
The mathematics of integers, rational numbers, real numbers, or complex numbers under the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.


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  • Arithmetic mean

    the mean obtained by adding several quantities together and dividing the sum by the number of quantities: the arithmetic mean of 1, 5, 2, and 8 is 4. Historical Examples Then it will be sufficient to take the arithmetic mean of the two adjustments. The Foundations of Science: Science and Hypothesis, The Value of Science, […]

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    a sequence in which each term is obtained by the addition of a constant number to the preceding term, as 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, and 6, 1, −4, −9, −14. Historical Examples (b) Derive the formula for the sum of n terms of an arithmetic progression. A Review of Algebra Romeyn Henry Rivenburg noun […]

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