Definition of absolute value in English:

absolute value


  • 1Mathematics
    The magnitude of a real number without regard to its sign.

    Also called modulus

    The absolute value of a complex number a + ib is the positive square root of a²+ b²

    ‘Ignoring minus signs, thereby taking the absolute value, gives a two-part curve.’
    • ‘In general, we say that the second component winds monotonically about the first, unknotted, component if the number of maximum points on the diagram equals the absolute value of the linking number.’
    • ‘In other words, you can safely bet your life on the fact that for your sequence, the bigger N is, the closer the absolute value of the Nth number gets to the Nth power of 1.13198824…’
    • ‘Their absolute values increase roughly 2x and the signs change.’
    • ‘The most commonly used method is to check for patterns in a plot of the absolute values of the standardized contrasts against their standard deviations (square roots of sums of branch lengths).’
  • 2 technical The actual magnitude of a numerical value or measurement, irrespective of its relation to other values.

    ‘To obtain relative values absolute values were divided by germination percentages obtained in water, and the result was multiplied by 100.’
    • ‘We use dBm to express absolute values of power relative to a milliwatt.’
    • ‘Figure 4 shows five-year moving averages of the mean absolute value of the ratio of the current account balance to GDP for twelve countries.’
    • ‘The protected polymorphism conditions are now given by the inequalities that the absolute values of these eigenvalues are larger than one.’
    • ‘The heat peaks caused by the upward and downward pressure jumps differ in sign but should agree in absolute values.’


absolute value

/ˈˌabsəˈˌl(y)o͞ot ˈvalyo͞o/ /ˈˌæbsəˈˌl(j)ut ˈvælju/