Meaning of scalar in English:


Pronunciation /ˈskeɪlə/


Mathematics Physics
  • (of a quantity) having only magnitude, not direction.

    • ‘However, mass is atypical scalar quantity and therefore its value will not depend on the polarization of the exciting light that is used to measure it.’


Mathematics Physics
  • A scalar quantity.

    ‘Together these three loci seem to fit the circumstances under which separate estimates of both mutation scalars and inheritance scalars can be obtained.’
    • ‘These types are what you'd expect: scalars hold numerical values or strings, columns hold lists of numbers, grids hold two-dimensional matrices and images hold pixels.’
    • ‘With multiple loci, each locus has a mutation rate scalar parameter such that the product of all mutation rate scalars is equal to 1.’
    • ‘It can find the bug if you ask your subroutine for a scalar, but you mistakenly have the subroutine return an array.’
    • ‘These models directly infer phylogeny by using only the substitution distances of the scalar.’


Mid 17th century from Latin scalaris, from scala ‘ladder’ (see scale).