Definition meaning

In math especially, we encounter the word “definition” from middle school or high school. But, what is the definition of definition ??? In simpler words, what is the exact meaning of definition? I think you can see a standard dictionary.

The definition of definition is as follows:

It means the precise or exact or unique (one and only one) meaning of some thing/some concept we are considering/discussing.

For example, in math, we talk of rational numbers. But there is nothing “rational” about “rational numbers”. So, also there is nothing “irrational” about “irrational” numbers. The definition of a rational number is: if a number can be expressed in the form \frac{p}{q}, where p, q are integers and p \neq 0, then such a number is called rational. This is “the” “definition” of a “rational” number. That means, this is the one and only one meaning of a rational number. Irrespective of whether a person is studying math in some country, some village, or even one hundred before and one hundred years later from now.

Whereas in humanities, social sciences, arts, politics etc. the “meaning” of word like “good painting”, “good music” etc can be hotly debated (and perhaps, forever…:-) the meaning of the word “rational number” is unique — that is why math is an exact/precise/objective science.

So, it is v important to understand and remember and apply various math definitions by dint of practising different kinds of problems.

Nalin Pithwa

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