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Glossary of Math Terms
beginning with letter P
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parabola Tweet Definition of parabola Like Definition of parabola on Facebook
noun (plural parabolas or parabolae)
  1. (geometry) The conic section formed by the intersection of a cone with a plane parallel to a tangent plane to the cone; the locus of a point equidistant from a point (the focus) and a line (the directrix).
parallel Tweet Definition of parallel Like Definition of parallel on Facebook
  1. One of a set of parallel lines.
  2. A line of latitude.
The 31st passes through the center of my town.
  1. An arrangement of electrical components such that a current flows along two or more paths; see in parallel
verb (parallels, paralleling or parallelling (British only), paralleled or parallelled (British only))
  1. To construct something parallel to something else.
  2. Of a path etc: To be parallel to something else.
  3. Of a process etc: To be analogous to something else.
  4. To compare or liken something to something else.
  1. Of two or more (straight) lines, (flat) surfaces etc: equally, Equally distant from one another at all points.
The horizontal lines on my notebook paper are parallel.
  1. parallel to: Of one thing, relative to another: Equally distant from at all points.
The railway line runs to the road.
parallelepiped Tweet Definition of parallelepiped Like Definition of parallelepiped on Facebook
  1. (mathematics) Solid figure, having six faces, all parallelograms; all opposite faces being similar and parallel
parallelogram Tweet Definition of parallelogram Like Definition of parallelogram on Facebook
noun ((plural) parallelograms)
  1. (geometry) A convex quadrilateral in which each pair of opposite edges are parallel and of equal length.
parametric equation Tweet Definition of parametric equation Like Definition of parametric equation on Facebook
  1. (mathematics) a set of equations that defines the coordinates of the dependent variables (x, y and z) of a curve or surface in terms of one or more independent variables (the parameters)
partial derivative Tweet Definition of partial derivative Like Definition of partial derivative on Facebook
  1. (mathematics) a derivative with respect to one variable of a function of several variables
partial differential equation Tweet Definition of partial differential equation Like Definition of partial differential equation on Facebook
  1. (mathematics) a differential equation that involves the partial derivatives of a function of several variables
pencil Tweet Definition of pencil Like Definition of pencil on Facebook
  1. (obsolete) A paintbrush.
  2. Writing utensil that uses graphite (commonly referred to as lead). Regular pencils usually have a graphite shaft surrounded by wood. A pencil sharpener is used to cut away the wood and leave a fine tip on the pencil. Also available in a mechanical version where the graphite length can be adjusted and sharpening is not needed.
  1. to squeeze something (meeting, feature, appointment, etc.) into a tight schedule
I am very busy today but I can you in at 3 p.m.
  1. to tentatively make a booking
pentad Tweet Definition of pentad Like Definition of pentad on Facebook
  1. a group or series of five things
pentadecagon Tweet Definition of pentadecagon Like Definition of pentadecagon on Facebook
  1. a polygon with fifteen sides
  • 2003: In â�� O, draw chord AB equal to r. Draw chord AC equal to Vt (which is the side of a regular decagon). CB is now one side of the regular . " Steven Atiyah, Essentials of Geometry (Trafford 2003, p. 357)
Pentagon Tweet Definition of Pentagon Like Definition of Pentagon on Facebook
proper noun 
  1. the headquarters of the United States of America's Department of Defense.
percent Tweet Definition of percent Like Definition of percent on Facebook
noun (percent)
  1. A part or other object per hundred
A resolution must receive fifty-one of the votes to pass.
percentage Tweet Definition of percentage Like Definition of percentage on Facebook
  1. The amount, number or rate of something, regarded as part of a total of 100; a part of a whole.
A high of secondary school leavers take a gap year.
  1. A share of the profits.
She gets a for every vacuum cleaner sold.
  1. (informal) benefit, Benefit or advantage.
There was no in staying at home.
perfect Tweet Definition of perfect Like Definition of perfect on Facebook
  1. (transitive) To make perfect; to improve or hone.
I am going to this article.
You spend too much time trying to prefect your dancing.
adjective (rfc-level, Adjective at L4+ not in L3 Ety section)
  1. Fitting its definition precisely.
a circle
  1. Having all of its parts in harmony with a common purpose.
That bucket with the hole in the bottom is a poor bucket, but it is for watering plants.
  1. Thoroughly skilled or talented.
practice makes
  1. Excellent and delightful in all respects.
a day
  1. (grammar) (of a tense or verb form) Representing a completed action.
  2. (biology) Sexually mature and fully differentiated.
  3. (botany) Having both male (stamens) and female (carpels) parts.
perfect number Tweet Definition of perfect number Like Definition of perfect number on Facebook
noun (plural perfect numbers)
  1. (number theory) A number that is the sum of all of its divisors except itself.
The factors of 28 are 1, 2, 4, 7, 14 and 28, and 1 + 2 + 4 + 7 + 14 = 28, so 28 is a .
perigon Tweet Definition of perigon Like Definition of perigon on Facebook
noun (plural perigons)
  1. (geometry) A round angle.
perimeter Tweet Definition of perimeter Like Definition of perimeter on Facebook
  1. (mathematics) The sum of the distance of all the lengths of the sides of an object.
  2. The outer limits of an area. See Synonyms at circumference.
  3. (mathematics) The length of such a boundary.
  4. A fortified strip or boundary usually protecting a military position.
period Tweet Definition of period Like Definition of period on Facebook
  1. (context, now mostly, North America) Punctuation mark ending a sentence or marking an abbreviation. <!-- What languages does this apply to? All? Or just most? Should it be
  1. appropriate, Appropriate for a given historical era.
    • 2004, Mark Singer, Somewhere in America, Houghton Mifflin, page 70
    • :As the guests arrived &mdash; there were about a hundred, a majority in attire &mdash; I began to feel out of place in my beige summer suit, white shirt, and red necktie. Then I got over it. I certainly didn't suffer from Confederate-uniform envy.
periodic Tweet Definition of periodic Like Definition of periodic on Facebook
  1. Relative to a period or periods.
  2. Having repeat, repeated cycle, cycles.
  3. Occurring at regular interval, intervals.
  4. Pertaining to the revolution of a celestial object in its orbit.
  5. Periodical.
periodic function Tweet Definition of periodic function Like Definition of periodic function on Facebook
  1. (mathematics) Any function whose value repeats after the regular addition of a period to its independent variable; i.e. f(x+t) = f(x) for some t over all x
Perpendicular Tweet Definition of Perpendicular Like Definition of Perpendicular on Facebook
proper noun 
  1. (architecture) Of a style of English Gothic architecture from the fourteenth and fifteenth century, centuries.
planar Tweet Definition of planar Like Definition of planar on Facebook
  1. of, or relating to a plane
  2. flat, two-dimensional
  3. (graph theory) of a graph, can be embedded in the plane with no edges intersecting
A complete graph with more than four nodes is never .
plane Tweet Definition of plane Like Definition of plane on Facebook
  1. (geometry) A flat surface extending infinitely in all directions.
  2. A level of existence. (eg, astral plane)
  3. A roughly flat, thin, often moveable structure used to create lateral force by the flow of air or water over its surface, found on aircraft, submarines, etc.
verb (plan, ing)
  1. (transitive) To smooth (wood) with a plane.
  1. Of a surface: Perfectly flat or level.
planimeter Tweet Definition of planimeter Like Definition of planimeter on Facebook
  1. An integrating device used to measure the area of an irregular figure via tracing its outline
Platonic solid Tweet Definition of Platonic solid Like Definition of Platonic solid on Facebook
noun (plural Platonic solids)
  1. (geometry) Any one of the following five polyhedron, polyhedra: the regular tetrahedron, the cube the regular octahedron, the regular dodecahedron and the regular icosahedron.
plot Tweet Definition of plot Like Definition of plot on Facebook
  1. The general course of a story including significant events that determine its course or significant patterns of events.
  2. An area or land used for building on or planting on.
  3. A plan to commit a crime.
  4. A graph or diagram drawn by hand or produced by a mechanical or electronic device.
verb (plot, t, ing)
  1. (transitive) To conceive (a crime, etc).
They had plotted'' a robbery.
  1. (transitive) To trace out (a graph or diagram).
They plotted the number of edits per day.
  1. (transitive) To mark (a point on a graph, chart, etc).
Every five minutes they plotted their position.
  1. (intransitive) To conceive a crime, misdeed, etc.
''They were plotting against the king.
plus Tweet Definition of plus Like Definition of plus on Facebook
noun (plural pluses or plusses)
  1. A positive quantity.
  2. An asset or useful addition.
He is a real to the team.
  1. (arithmetic) A plus sign: +.
  1. Being positive rather than negative or zero.
  • -2 = +4 ("minus 2 times minus 2 equals four")
    1. Positive, or involving advantage.
He is a factor.
  1. (physics) electrically, Electrically positive.
A battery has both a pole and a minus pole.
plus sign Tweet Definition of plus sign Like Definition of plus sign on Facebook
noun (plural plus signs)
  1. (arithmetic) The symbol + used to denote the operation of addition and to indicate that a number is positive.
point Tweet Definition of point Like Definition of point on Facebook
  1. A location or place.
  2. (geometry) A zero-dimensional mathematical object representing a location in one or more dimensions.
  3. A particular moment in an event or occurrence.
At this point in the meeting, I'd like to propose a new item for the agenda.
  1. The sharp tip of an object.
  2. A peninsula.
  3. (arithmetic) A decimal point (used when reading decimal fractions aloud).
10.5 ("ten point five"; = ten and a half)
  1. An opinion which adds (or supposedly adds) to the discussion.
  2. A unit of measure of success or failure in a game or competition; the unit of score, scoring.
The one with the most points will win the game
Germany awarded Greece the maximum 12 points in the Eurovision Song Contest.
  1. The color/colour on the extremities of an animal (typically darker or richer) than the rest of the coat).
The point color of that cat was a deep, rich sable.
  1. (rail transport, Commonwealth) a device by which trains change tracks; switch
  2. (cricket) a fielding position square of the wicket on the off side, between gully and cover.
  3. The position at the front or vanguard of an advancing force.
    • 2005: Willie Jones decided to become Kimani Jones, Black Panther, on the day his best friend, Otis Nicholson, stepped on a mine while walking during a sweep in the central highlands. " Martin Torgoff, Can't Find My Way Home (Simon & Schuster 2005, p. 189)
    • (nautical) An angle equivalent to eleven and a quarter degrees, that is 1/32 of a circle. Most commonly used to indicate a relative bearing to an object or vessel, but can be used to describe a compass bearing.
  1. (intransitive) To extend the index finger in the direction of something in order to show where it is or to draw attention to it.
It's rude to at other people.
  1. (transitive) To direct or encourage (someone) in a particular direction
If he asks for food, him toward the refrigerator.
point of inflection Tweet Definition of point of inflection Like Definition of point of inflection on Facebook
  1. (mathematics) a point on a curve at which the sign of the curvature changes; at this point the second derivative of the underlying function will be zero, but positive on one side and negative on the other
polar coordinates Tweet Definition of polar coordinates Like Definition of polar coordinates on Facebook
noun plural
  1. (mathematics) The coordinates of a point in a plane, measured as its Cartesian distance from the origin and the angle measured anticlockwise/counterclockwise from the x-axis, x-axis to a line joining the point to the origin.
  2. (mathematics) The coordinates of a point in three-dimensional space, measured as its Cartesian distance from the origin, the angle measured from the z-axis to a line joining the point to the origin, and the angle measured anticlockwise from the x-axis to this line.
polyconic Tweet Definition of polyconic Like Definition of polyconic on Facebook
  1. Pertaining to, or based upon, many cones.
polygon Tweet Definition of polygon Like Definition of polygon on Facebook
  1. (geometry) A plane figure bounded by straight edges.
polyhedral Tweet Definition of polyhedral Like Definition of polyhedral on Facebook
  1. (geometry) (Of a solid or surface.) Having multiple planar faces or facets.
  2. (aeronautics) (Of a fixed-wing aircraft.) Having multiple dihedral angles along the wingspan
polyhedron Tweet Definition of polyhedron Like Definition of polyhedron on Facebook
noun (polyhedr, a, pl2=polyhedrons)
  1. (geometry) A solid figure with many faces.
  2. (optics) A polyscope, or multiplying glass.
positive Tweet Definition of positive Like Definition of positive on Facebook
  1. A thing capable of being affirmed; something real or actual.
  2. A favourable point or characteristic.
  3. Something having a value in physics, such as an electric charge.
  4. (grammar) An adjective or adverb in the degree.
  5. (context, photography) A image; one that displays true colors and shades, as opposed to a negative.
  1. Definitively laid down; explicitly stated; clearly expressed, precise, emphatic.
    • Bacon:
    • : Positive words, that he would not bear arms against King Edward"s son.
      1. Fully assured, confident; certain.
      I"m absolutely you've spelt that wrong.
      1. Overconfident, dogmatic.
    • Pope:
    • : Some , persisting fops we know, That, if once wrong, will needs be always so.
      1. (grammar) Describing the primary sense of an adjective or adverb; not comparative or superlative.
      "Better" is an irregular comparative of the form "good".
      1. Derived from an object by itself; not dependent on changing circumstances or relations; absolute.
      The idea of beauty is not , but depends on the different tastes of individuals.
      1. Wholly what is expressed; colloquially downright, entire, outright.
      Good lord, you've built up a arsenal of weaponry here.
      1. Characterised by the existence or presence of qualities or features, rather than by their absence.
      The box was not empty " I felt some substance within it.
      1. Characterised by the presence of features which support a hypothesis.
      The results of our experiment are .
      1. Characterised by affirmation, constructiveness, or influence for the better; favourable.
      He has a outlook on life.
      The first-night reviews were largely .
    • Swift:
    • : a voice in legislation.
      1. (context, chiefly, philosophy) actual, Actual, real, concrete.
    • Bacon:
    • : Positive good.
      1. (photography) Of a visual image, true to the original in light, shade and colour values.
      A photograph can be developed from a photographic negative.
      1. (physics) Having more protons than electrons.
      A cation is a positive ion as it has more protons than electrons.
      1. (slang) HIV positive.
potency Tweet Definition of potency Like Definition of potency on Facebook
noun (potenc, ies)
  1. Strength; power; the ability or capacity to perform something.
power set Tweet Definition of power set Like Definition of power set on Facebook
noun (plural power sets)
  1. (settheory) The set of all subsets of a set. Notation for a set S: <math>\mathcal{P}(S)</math> or 2S
The of {1, 2} is {í�, {1}, {2}, {1,&nbsp;2}}
precision Tweet Definition of precision Like Definition of precision on Facebook
  1. the state of being precise or exact; exactness
  2. the ability of a measurement to be reproduced consistently
  3. (mathematics) the number of significant digits to which a value may be measured reliably
  1. used for exact or precise measurement
  2. made, or characterized by accuracy
prime Tweet Definition of prime Like Definition of prime on Facebook
  1. the earliest stage
  2. the most active, thriving, or successful stage or period
  3. the chief or best individual or part
  4. (music) The first note or tone of a musical scale.
  5. (fencing) The first defensive position, with the sword hand held at head height, and the tip of the sword at head height.
  6. (context, algebra, number theory) A prime element of a mathematical structure, particularly a prime number.
3 is a prime.
  1. (backgammon) Six consecutive blocks, which prevent the opponent's pieces from passing.
I'm threatening to build a prime here.
verb (prim, es)
  1. (transitive) To prepare a mechanism for its main work.
You'll have to press this button twice to prime the fuel pump.
  1. (transitive) To apply a coat of primer paint to.
I need to prime these handrails before we can apply the finish coat.
  1. First in time, order, or sequence
Both the English and French governments established prime meridians in their capitals.
  1. First in excellence, quality, or value.
This is a prime location for a bookstore.
  1. (mathematics) Having no integral factors except itself and unity (1 in the case of integers).
Thirteen is a prime number.
  1. First in importance, degree, or rank.
Our prime concern here is to keep the community safe.
  1. (mathematics) Having its complement closed under multiplication: said only of ideals.
prime number Tweet Definition of prime number Like Definition of prime number on Facebook
noun (pl=prime numbers)
  1. (number theory) Any natural number greater than 1 divisible only by itself and 1.
Every natural number greater than 1 can be factorized into prime numbers.
prism Tweet Definition of prism Like Definition of prism on Facebook
  1. (mathematics) A polyhedron with parallel ends of the same size and shape, the other faces being parallelogram-shaped sides.
  2. A transparent block in the shape of a prism (typically with triangular ends), used to split or reflect light.
  3. A crystal in which the faces are parallel to the vertical axis.
progression Tweet Definition of progression Like Definition of progression on Facebook
  1. Moving from one thing to another.
projective geometry Tweet Definition of projective geometry Like Definition of projective geometry on Facebook
  1. (mathematics) a branch of mathematics that investigates those properties of figures that are invariant when projected from a point to a line or plane
prolate Tweet Definition of prolate Like Definition of prolate on Facebook
  1. elongate, Elongated at the poles.
A cigar is a spheroid.
proof Tweet Definition of proof Like Definition of proof on Facebook
  1. Any effort, process, or operation designed to establish or discover a fact or truth; an act of testing; a test; a trial.
For whatsoever mother wit or art Could work, he put in . -w:Spenser.
You shall have many proofs to show your skill. -w:Ford.
Formerly, a very rude mode of ascertaining the strength of spirits was practiced, called the . -w:Ure.
  1. That degree of evidence which convinces the mind of any truth or fact, and produces belief; a test by facts or arguments that induce, or tend to induce, certainty of the judgment; conclusive evidence; demonstration.
I'll have some . -w:Shak.
It is no of a man's understanding to be able to confirm whatever he pleases. -w:Emerson.
:Note: Properly speaking, proof is the effect or result of evidence, evidence is the medium of proof. Cf. Demonstration, 1.
    • 1990 October 28, w:Paul Simon, Paul Simon, "Proof", w:The Rhythm of the Saints, The Rhythm of the Saints, Warner Bros.
    • : Faith, faith is an island in the setting sun / But , is the bottom line for everyone
      1. The quality or state of having been proved or tried; firmness or hardness that resists impression, or does not yield to force; impenetrability of physical bodies.
      2. Firmness of mind; stability not to be shaken.
      3. (printing) A proof sheet; a trial impression, as from type, taken for correction or examination.
      4. (mathematics): A process for testing the accuracy of an operation performed. Cf. Prove, v. t., 5.
      5. (obsolete): Armor of excellent or tried quality, and deemed impenetrable; properly, armor of proof.
      6. A measure of the alcohol content of liquor. Originally in Britain 100 was defined as 57,1% by volume (not used anymore). In the US 100 means that the alcohol content is 50% of the total volume of the liquid and thus absolute alcohol would be 200 .
  1. (colloquial) To proofread.
  1. Used in proving or testing; as, a proof load, or proofcharge.
  2. Firm or successful in resisting; as, proof against harm; waterproof; bombproof.
I ... have found thee Proof against all temptation. -w:Milton.
This was a good, stout article of faith. -w:Burke.
  1. Being of a certain standard as to strength; -- said of alcoholic liquors.
proper Tweet Definition of proper Like Definition of proper on Facebook
  1. Suited or acceptable to the purpose or circumstances; fit, suitable
''The time to plant potatoes.
  1. Following the established standards of behavior or manners; correct or decorous
A very young lady.
  1. Fitting; right
''It is only to bring food to a potluck.
  1. Exact; precise
  2. (italbrac, used after the noun) In the very strictest sense of the word:
According to the Supreme Court, tomatoes do not belong to the fruits proper.
The school is located in the town proper.
  1. (grammar) used to designate a particular person, place or thing written with an initial capital letter.
  2. Common or ordinary.
  3. Belonging to oneself or itself; own.
He was restored to his color after taking the elixir.
  1. Complete or thorough
I gave that boy a whipping.
  1. Entitled to its name; true.
I wanted a proper breakfast, not just a morning snack.
  1. (tincture) having its natural or usual coloration, though this is often according to what heraldic convention defines as the natural or usual; proper is considered to be its own tincture.
  2. (context, informal) utter
When I realized I was wearing my shirt inside out, I felt a fool.
proper fraction Tweet Definition of proper fraction Like Definition of proper fraction on Facebook
noun (plural proper fractions)
  1. (arithmetic) A vulgar fraction in which the magnitude of the numerator is less than or equal to that of the denominator, such as 2/3.
proportion Tweet Definition of proportion Like Definition of proportion on Facebook
  1. (countable) a quantity of something that is part of the whole amount or number.
  2. (uncountable) harmonious relation of parts to each other or to the whole.
  3. (countable) proper or equal share.
  4. (uncountable) the relation of one part to another or to the whole with respect to magnitude, quantity, or degree.
  5. (context, mathematics, countable) A statement of equality between two ratios.
  1. To set or render in proportion.
proposition Tweet Definition of proposition Like Definition of proposition on Facebook
noun (wikipedia, proposition, proposition (logic))
  1. (uncountable) The act of offering (an idea) for consideration.
  2. (countable) An idea or a plan offered.
  3. (countable) (in business settings) The terms of a transaction offered.
  4. (countable) (logic) The content of an assertion that may be taken as being true or false and is considered abstractly without reference to the linguistic sentence that constitutes the assertion.
  5. In some states of the US, a proposed statute or constitutional amendment to be voted on by the electorate.
  6. In mathematics, a proposition is an assertion formulated in such a way that it may be proved true or false.
prove Tweet Definition of prove Like Definition of prove on Facebook
verb (proves, proving, proved, proved or proven)
  1. (transitive) To demonstrate that something is true; to give proof for.
I will my method is more effective than yours.
The hypothesis has not been proven to our satisfaction.
  1. To turn out; to manifest.
It proved to be a cold day.
Have an exit strategy should your calculations incorrect.
pyramid Tweet Definition of pyramid Like Definition of pyramid on Facebook
  1. An ancient massive construction with a square or rectangular base and four triangular sides meeting in an apex, such as those built as tombs in Egypt or as bases for temples in Mesoamerica.
  2. A construction in the shape of a pyramid, usually with a square or rectangular base.
  3. (geometry) A solid with triangular lateral faces and a polygonal (often square or rectangular) base.
  4. A pyramid scheme.
Pythagorean theorem Tweet Definition of Pythagorean theorem Like Definition of Pythagorean theorem on Facebook
proper noun (-, sg=Pythagorean theorem)
  1. (geometry) A mathematical theorem which states that the square of the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of those of the other two other sides.
  2. (functional analysis) A generalization of the Pythagorean theorem (1) to Hilbert spaces

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