significant digit

Main Entry:  significant digit
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  any digit of a number that is known with certainty and that has a distinct numerical meaning, but not a zero at the beginning or end that is a placeholder; also called signficant figure
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WordNet
significant digit

noun
any digit of a number that is known with certainty; any digit of a number beginning with the leftmost non-zero digit and ending with the rightmost non-zero digit (or a zero considered to be the exact value); "he calculated the answer to four significant figures" 
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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