Division (mathematics)

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In mathematics, division is the operation which is the opposite of multiplication. The symbols for division are the slash () and the fraction line, as in:


where both expressions mean "6 divided by 3", with 2 as the answer. The first number (6) is the dividend, and the second number (3) is the divisor. The result (or answer) of a division is the quotient, where any left-over amount as whole numbers is called the remainder.[1] For example, gives quotient 3 with remainder 2, all expressed as the mixed number or ).

With multiplication[change | change source]

If times equals , written as:

where is not , then equals divided by , written as:


For example,



In the above expressions, the dividend is , the divisor is and the quotient is (with no remainder).[2]

Division by zero, as in

is not defined.

Notation[change | change source]

Division is most often shown by placing the dividend over the divisor with a horizontal line (called a vinculum) between them. For example, divided by is written as

This can be read as "x divided by y", or "x over y". A way to express division on one line is to write the dividend, then a slash, then the divisor, like this:

This is the usual way to write division in most computer programming languages, since it can easily be typed as a simple sequence of characters.

A typographical variation which is halfway between these two forms uses a slash, but elevates the dividend and lowers the divisor:


Any of these forms can be used to show a fraction. A fraction is a division expression where the dividend and divisor are both integers (in that case, the two numbers are called numerator and denominator).

Division should not be confused with ratios, which are written as , and read " (is) to ".

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Division". www.mathsisfun.com. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Weisstein, Eric W. "Division". mathworld.wolfram.com. Retrieved 2020-08-26.

Other websites[change | change source]