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[in-ti-jer] /ˈɪn tɪ dʒər/
Mathematics. one of the positive or negative numbers 1, 2, 3, etc., or zero.
Compare whole number.
a complete entity.
Synonyms: integral, whole.
Origin of integer
1500-10; < Latin: untouched, hence, undivided, whole, equivalent to in- in-3 + -teg- (combining form of tag-, base of tangere to touch) + -er adj. suffix
Related forms
noninteger, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for integers
Historical Examples
  • Men who live with an eye only upon what is their own are dwarfed beside them--seem fractions while they are integers.

  • It will save more time in the work with integers than was spent in teaching it!

    The Psychology of Arithmetic Edward L. Thorndike
  • I felt he was going again over 'fractions' and the 'integers.'

    The Secret of Charlotte Bront Frederika Macdonald
  • The integers of language are sentences, and their organs are the parts of speech.

    On the Evolution of Language John Wesley Powell
  • She drew the line of encouraging drunkenness at integers—halves not counting as fractions, by tacit consent.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost William Frend De Morgan
  • How many times will he have exercised each of the various bonds involved in the four operations with integers shown below?

    The Psychology of Arithmetic Edward L. Thorndike
  • It relates to the operations with integers and sexagesimal fractions, including roots, and contains no applications.

    The Hindu-Arabic Numerals David Eugene Smith
  • He had shown that if there are certain things called 'integers', defined as he had defined them, the whole of arithmetic follows.

  • This simplifies the task of “locating a root”; that is, of finding between what integers the root lies.

    William Oughtred Florian Cajori
  • Two integers are in the ratio Increase each by 15, and the difference of their squares is 999.

    A Review of Algebra Romeyn Henry Rivenburg
British Dictionary definitions for integers


any rational number that can be expressed as the sum or difference of a finite number of units, being a member of the set …–3, –2, –1, 0, 1, 2, 3…
an individual entity or whole unit
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: untouched, entire, from tangere to touch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for integers



"a whole number" (opposed to fraction), 1570s, from Latin integer (adj.) "whole, complete," figuratively, "untainted, upright," literally "untouched," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + root of tangere "to touch" (see tangent). The word was used earlier in English as an adjective meaning "whole, entire" (c.1500).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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integers in Science
A positive or negative whole number or zero. The numbers 4, -876, and 5,280 are all integers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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integers in Culture
integers [(in-tuh-juhrz)]

The whole numbers, plus their counterparts less than zero, and zero. The negative integers are those less than zero (–1, –2, –3, and so on); the positive integers are those greater than zero (1, 2, 3, and so on).

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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