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Napier's bones

noun, Mathematics
a form of multiplication table originally marked on sticks of bone or ivory that could be rearranged to carry out the operations of multiplication or division.
Also called Napier's rods.
1650-60; after their developer, J. Napier Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for napier-bones

Napier's bones

plural noun
a set of graduated rods formerly used for multiplication and division
Word Origin
C17: based on a method invented by John Napier
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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