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absolute value

noun, Mathematics
1.
Also called numerical value. the magnitude of a quantity, irrespective of sign; the distance of a quantity from zero. The absolute value of a number is symbolized by two vertical lines, as |3| or |−3| is equal to 3.
2.
the square root of the sum of the squares of the real and imaginary parts of a given complex number, as |a + b i | is equal to .
Also called modulus.
Origin
1905-1910
1905-10
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for numerical-value

absolute value

noun (maths)
1.
the positive real number equal to a given real but disregarding its sign. Written | x |. Where r is positive, | r | = r = | –r
2.
Also called modulus. a measure of the magnitude of a complex number, represented by the length of a line in the Argand diagram: |x + iy | = √(x² + y²), so | 4 + 3i | = 5
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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numerical-value in Science
absolute value  
The value of a number without regard to its sign. For example, the absolute value of +3 (written |+3|) and the absolute value of -3 (written |-3|) are both 3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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