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[noo-mer-i-kuh l, nyoo-] /nuˈmɛr ɪ kəl, nyu-/
of or relating to numbers; of the nature of a number.
indicating a number:
numerical symbols.
bearing or designated by a number.
expressed by numbers instead of letters:
numerical cryptography; numerical equations.
of or relating to one's skill at working with numbers, solving mathematical problems, etc.:
tests for rating numerical aptitude.
Mathematics, absolute (def 12).
Also, numeric.
Origin of numerical
1615-25; < Latin numer(us) number + -ical
Related forms
numerically, adverb
numericalness, noun
unnumerical, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for numerical
  • Ring-tailed lemurs may be primitive detours off the primate line, but they have impressive numerical abilities.
  • But they've relied mostly on numerical rankings and have rarely contained descriptive explanations.
  • The rating is a numerical measure of the team's strength.
  • numerical study of foraging behavior with short and long range movement in heterogeneous environments.
  • It has come up in another thread that many suggest dropping the numerical course designations in your listing.
  • They are less hung up on specific numerical qualifiers, and looking holistically at students.
  • However, considering its numerical dominance now, the company is not doomed.
  • Those goals become the basis for our next numerical rating the following week.
  • But there is no dispute that the higher capabilities of modern weaponry make simple numerical comparisons inadequate.
  • The metabolite reacts with chemicals in the paper, revealing a simple numerical code.
British Dictionary definitions for numerical


of, relating to, or denoting a number or numbers
measured or expressed in numbers: numerical value
  1. containing or using constants, coefficients, terms, or elements represented by numbers: 3x² + 4y = 2 is a numerical equation Compare literal (sense 6)
  2. another word for absolute (sense 11a)
Derived Forms
numerically, adverb
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 numerical

1620s, from Latin numerus "a number" (see number (n.)) + suffix -ical. Perhaps by influence of French numérique "of a number or numbers." Related: Numerically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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