# scalars

## scalar

[skey-ler]
1.
representable by position on a scale or line; having only magnitude: a scalar variable.
2.
of, pertaining to, or utilizing a scalar.
3.
ladderlike in arrangement or organization; graduated: a scalar structure for promoting personnel.
noun
4.
Mathematics, Physics. a quantity possessing only magnitude. Compare vector ( def 1a ).

Origin:
1650–60; < Latin scālāris of a ladder. See scale3, -ar1

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World English Dictionary
 scalar (ˈskeɪlə) —n 1. vector tensor pseudoscalar Compare pseudovector a quantity, such as time or temperature, that has magnitude but not direction 2. maths an element of a field associated with a vector space —adj 3. having magnitude but not direction [C17 (meaning: resembling a ladder): from Latin scālāris, from scāla ladder]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

scalar
"resembling a ladder," 1656, from L. scalaris "of or pertaining to a ladder," from scalæ (pl.) "ladder, steps" (see scale (n.2)). Mathematical sense first recorded 1846.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
 scalar   (skā'lər)  Pronunciation Key  A quantity, such as mass, length, or speed, whose only property is magnitude; a number. Compare vector.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary