Jun 28, 2007 - Anything & Everything    2 Comments    23,554 views

What is the collective term for ‘addition, subtraction, division and multiplication’ ?

ASK! about Everything and Anything

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division can generally be referred to as operations. The following books
contain relevant information on “operations”. To find out where you can borrow these books, please use our online catalogue.

[1] Title : Encyclopedia of mathematics / by James Tanton.
Call No.: YR English q510.3 TAN
*Defines “operation” as “any mechanistic procedure on the elements of a set that produces a unique result for those elements is called an operation on that set. For example, addition is an operation on the set of integers… In arithmetic, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and the extraction of square roots are called elementary operations. A symbol used to denote an operation is sometimes called an operator. For instance, +, -,… are operators.”

[2] Title: The Facts on File dictionary of mathematics/ edited by John Daintith & John Clark.
Call No.: YR English 510.3 FAC
*Defines “operation” as “any process that combines together members of a set. Combining two members to produce a third is a binary operation. The main operations in arithmetic are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.”

[3] Title: Mathematics illustrated dictionary : facts, figures, and people / by Jeanne Bendick.
Call No.: R English 510.3 BEN
*Defines “arithmetic operation” as “In common use, the four fundamental operations are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division…”

Answered by Ng Kiak Peng, Librarian, Public Library Services

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  • I am only trying to get the word that collectively means 4 fundamental
    operation of arithmatic, thank you. Chi

    • hi Chi La,

      the 4 operations of ‘addition, substraction, division and multiplication’ are actually collectively known as arithmetic. This branch of mathematics concerns itself with the combination of numbers.

      Additionally, these operations can also be classified as ‘binary operations’ as they involve 2 numbers (or inputs). This is opposed to unary operations which involve only a single input.

      you may refer to the following resources for more information:

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