February 07, 2013
algebra (noun)
\AL-juh-bruh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a branch of mathematics that explores the relationships between numbers and the operations used to work with them and that uses letters or other symbols to represent them
How do you use it?
Our teacher introduced us to algebra with the simple equation "6 + x = 12."
Are you a word wiz?

"Algebra" has been in English since the 1500s. What do you think the root word of "algebra" means?

It all adds up to A! "Algebra" came into English in the mid-1500s from the Arabic word "al-jabr," meaning "the reduction." So how did a form of math that had been known in both the East and the West for hundreds of years get an Arabic name? Back in the Middle Ages, the Islamic world was a center of art and learning. Along with the trade of goods between Europe and the Islamic world came the trade of ideas. Islamic contributions to the study and organizing of the early principals of algebra led to this branch of mathematics being called by a form of its Arabic name.
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