cardinal numerals

cardinal number

noun
1.
Also called cardinal numeral. any of the numbers that express amount, as one, two, three, etc. (distinguished from ordinal number ).
2.
Also called potency, power. Mathematics. a number or symbol analogous to the number of elements in a finite set, being identical for two sets that can be placed into one-to-one correspondence: The cardinal number of the set a1, a2, … an is n.

Origin:
1585–95

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World English Dictionary
cardinal number or cardinal numeral
 
n
1.  Sometimes shortened to: cardinal a number denoting quantity but not order in a set
2.  maths, logic
 a.  Compare natural number a measure of the size of a set that does not take account of the order of its members
 b.  a particular number having this function
 
cardinal numeral or cardinal numeral
 
n

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cardinal number
1591, "one, two, three," etc. as opposed to ordinal numbers "first, second, third," etc.; so called because they are the principal numbers and the ordinals depend on them (see cardinal).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
cardinal number   (kär'dn-əl)  Pronunciation Key 
A number, such as 3, 11, or 412, used in counting to indicate quantity but not order. Compare ordinal number.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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