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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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  • one of the numbers that make up a number by multiplication. E.g. 3 is a factor of 6 since 6 = 3x2..

factor tree

  • a diagram representing a systematic way of determining all the prime factors of a number. e.g.



  • see rational number

  • any number that can be written in the form a/b where a and b are integers and b cannot equal 0. It is a negative fraction number if it is less than zero i.e. either a or b, but not both, is negative.

frequency diagram

  • used in statistics as a method of recording the data collected. A tally is often used in the frequency diagram to keep track of the number of times something occurs.


  • the region a solid cone or pyramid between the base and a plane parallel to the base.

A few frustums (or frusta)


    a set of ordered pairs where each first element is paired with one and only one second element and no element in either pair is without a partner.


golden rectangle

  • a rectangle where the ratio of its length to its width is (1 + sqrt 5)/2 :1, i.e. about 1.618:1.


hectare (hm2)

  • a unit of area that is 100 m by 100 m. It is equivalent to 10 000 m2.

height of a triangle


  • a type of statistical graph that uses bars, where each bar represents a range of values and the data is continuous.


  • the side opposite the right angle in a right triangle. It is always the longest side in the triangle.



improper fraction

  • a fraction whose numerator is greater than or equal to its denominator. e.g. 11/7.
  • Note: 11/7 and 1 4/7 are both in simplest form.


  • a mathematical sentence that includes one of the symbols >, <, or the symbols for greater than or equal to, less than or equal to, or not equal.


  • any number in the set 0,+/- l,+/- 2,+/- 3, ...

interior angles of a polygon

  • angles within a polygon formed by the intersection of two sides.


  • money paid for the use of someone else's money.
  • Simple interest is calculated using the formula i = prt.
  • Compound interest is calculated by adding the interest on to the principal each time the interest is calculated.


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