Words related to mathematics

mathematic (n.)

"mathematical science," late 14c. as singular noun, mathematik (replaced since early 17c. by mathematics, q.v.), from Old French mathematique and directly from Latin mathematica (plural), from Greek mathēmatike tekhnē "mathematical science," feminine singular of mathēmatikos (adj.) "relating to mathematics, scientific, astronomical; pertaining to learning, disposed to learn," from mathēma (genitive mathēmatos) "science, knowledge, mathematical knowledge; a lesson," literally "that which is learnt;" from manthanein "to learn," from PIE root *mendh- "to learn."

As an adjective, "pertaining to mathematics," from c. 1400, from French mathématique or directly from Latin mathematicus.

in the names of sciences or disciplines (acoustics, aerobics, economics, etc.), a 16c. revival of the classical custom of using the neuter plural of adjectives with Greek -ikos "pertaining to" (see -ic) to mean "matters relevant to" and also as the titles of treatises about them. Subject matters that acquired their English names before c. 1500, however, tend to be singular in form (arithmetic, logic, magic, music, rhetoric). The grammatical number of words in -ics (mathematics is/mathematics are) is a confused question.
math (n.1)

American English shortening of mathematics, 1890; the British preference, maths, is attested from 1911. "Math. is used as an abbreviation in written English in the U.K. but not in speech, the normal form being Maths" [OED].

maths (n.)

British English colloquial abbreviation of mathematics, by 1911; see math.


Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to learn." It forms all or part of: chrestomathy; mathematic; mathematical; mathematics; opsimathy; polymath.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek menthere "to care," manthanein "to learn," mathēma "science, knowledge, mathematical knowledge;" Lithuanian mandras "wide-awake;" Old Church Slavonic madru "wise, sage;" Gothic mundonsis "to look at," German munter "awake, lively."

metamathematics (n.)

"the metaphysics of mathematics," including the philosophy of non-Euclidian geometry, 1878, from meta- in the sense of "transcending, overarching, dealing with the most fundamental matters of" + mathematics. Related: Metamathematical.