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1520s, "word expressing a number," from Middle French numéral (late 15c.), from Late Latin numeralis "of or belonging to a number," from Latin numerus "a number" (see number (n.)). Meaning "figure standing for a number" is from 1680s. As an adjective, "expressing number," from 1520s.
A word or symbol used to represent a number.
a collection of symbols used to represent small numbers, together with a system of rules for representing larger numbers