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Mathematics Glossary - Middle Years
Maxine Stinka, Saskatchewan Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Note: The definitions included here are those that are used in the Saskatchewan Education document "Mathematics 6-9: A Curriculum Guide for the Middle Level".

Various mathematics dictionaries may have different definitions. These definitions are designed to be meaningful to middle level mathematics teachers.

Select the first letter of the term that you wish to look for.
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  • facts and opinions from which conclusions can be drawn.

degree of a:

  • the greatest of the degrees of its terms.
  • term

  • the sum of the number of times each variable appears as a factor. e.g. the degree of the term 5x3y4z is 8 because 3 + 4 + 1 = 8.

dependent events

  • events whose outcomes affect each other.


  • a segment joining two non-consecutive vertices of a convex polygon . e.g.

  • AC is a diagonal.


  • a chord that passes through the centre of a circle.


  • the enlargement or reduction of a plane figure.

distributive property

  • adding two numbers and then multiplying by another yields the same result as multiplying each one by the number and then adding the products. i.e. a(b + c) = ab + ac, or (a+b)c = ac + bc. E.g. 2(3 + 5) = 2x3 + 2x5.

divisibility rules

  • patterns that allow you to determine whether or not a number divides evenly into another number (leaving no remainder) without actually doing the division. e.g. a number that ends in 5 or 0 is divisible by 5.




  • a mathematical sentence containing an equal sign.

equiangular or equilateral triangle


  • determining an approximate amount, value or size of something.
    Quantitative estimation is determining the approximate number of items in a group.
  • Computational estimation is determining the approximate result to an arithmetic calculation.
  • Measurement estimation is determining the approximate length, perimeter, area, volume or other measurement of a geometric figure.

Euler's formula


  • one or more outcomes of a probability experiment.

experimental probability

  • the ratio of the number of favorable outcomes in an experiment to the total number of outcomes in the experiment.


  • a number that indicates the number of times the base appears as a factor. e.g. 43 = 4X4X4. The exponent is 3. The entire term is called a power and 4 is the base. When 0 is the exponent the value of the power is 1.
  • i.e. (-9)0 = 1. When the exponent is a negative integer, the value of the power is the reciprocal of the value when the exponent is its opposite.

    i.e. 3- 4= 1/34.



    •  a group of symbols representing numbers and operations.


    •  a mathematical expression containing variables.

exterior angle of a polygon

  • the angle outside a polygon formed by extending one of its sides.

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