Word  Definition  Examples  

S  
Sample Space  In probability, all the possible ways that an event can happen.  
Scalar  A quantity that represents a magnitude. It can be represented by a real number.  
Scale  The distance between two consecutive tick marks on the x and yaxes of a coordinate grid.  When graphing, an appropriate scale must be selected so that the resulting graph will be clearly shown.  
Scalene triangle  A triangle with no sides congruent  All sides are a different length  
Scatter plot  A graph that relates ordered sets of data.  Scatter plots frequently have dots or x's  
Scientific Notation  A number expressed in the form a x 10^{n} where n is an integer and 1 < a < 10. For a number between 0 and 1, the exponent n will be a negative.  3450 = 3.45 x 10^{3}
0.052 = 5.2 x 10^{2} 

Sector of a circle  The portion of the interior of a circle intercepted by a central angle.  Like a slice of a round pie  
Segment  Part of a line consisting of two endpoints and all the points between them  
Semicircle  Exactly half a circle  
Sigma Σ σ  Greek letter used in math and statistics problems  
Similar Figures  Figures that have the same shape, but not the same size.  Same angles, proportional sides  
Similar Triangles  Triangles that have the same angles, but not necessarily the same size.  Same shape  
Similarity ratio  The ratio of the lengths of corresponding sides in a similar polygon.  
Simple fraction  A fraction that has one number in the numerator and one number in the denominator 


Simple Interest  Interest calculated using the formula I = prt, where I is interest paid, p is principle, r is the interest rate charged, and t is the time period.  The interest on $300 at 5% per year for 4 years is I = prt = 300(.05)(4) = $60  
Simplify  Combine all like terms that can be combined and get rid of parentheses to cut down on the number of terms in an expression  5 + 3 simplifies to 8  
Sine  The ratio of the length of the side opposite an angle and the hypotenuse in a right triangle  side opposite divided by hypotenuse  see Trigonometry  
Skew lines  Two lines that are not in the same plane. They do not intersect and they are not parallel.  
Slope  The measure of the steepness of a line. Slope is the change
in y (up and down) divided by the change in x (left and right). Slope is abbreviated m. 


SlopeIntercept form  A linear equation written in the form y = mx + b, where m is the slope and b is the yintercept  y = 2x + 4  
Solve  Find the answer. In algebra, it means to figure out what the variable stands for. 
x + 5 = 7 so x = 2 

Solution or root  A number that makes an equation a true statement  
Solution set  The set of all numbers that satisfy an equation (make it true).  
Space  The set of all points.  
Square  A parallelogram with four congruent sides and four right angles  All sides and angles equal  
Square Root  If a^{2} = b, then a is the square root of b. Square root is the opposite of square.  5 and 5 are square roots of 25  
Square Numbers  A square number or perfect square counts the objects that can form a square. In other words, it is the product of some integer with itself.  
Standard Form of a Polynomial  When the degree of the terms (exponents) in a polynomial decrease from left to right.  5x^{3} + 3x^{2}  x + 8  
Statistics  The branch of mathematics that deals with the collection, analysis, interpretation, explanation, and presentation of data.  
Straight angle  An angle that measures 180°, a straight line. 
x = 180° 

Straightedge  A ruler that doesn't have any markings on it used to draw lines where the exact length doesn't matter.  
Subtraction  Adding the opposite  7x  3x = 7x + (3x) = 4x  
Supplementary angles  Two positive angles whose measures add to 180 degrees. When adjacent (sharing a side) supplementary angles make a straight line.  A + B = 180°  
System of Linear Equations  Two or more linear equations for which a common solution is sought.  The solution is where the two lines cross when graphed.  
Word  Definition  Examples  
T  
Table of Values  A method for finding points that solve an equation so the equation can be graphed. You guess an x, then plug it into the equation to solve for the matching y value. Continue until you have enough (x,y) pairs to graph. 


Tangent  The ratio of the length of the side opposite an angle and the side adjacent to the angle in a right triangle  side opposite divided by side adjacent  see Trigonometry  
Term  A grouping together of one or more factors (variables and/or number). Multiplication or division connects letters to numbers in a term. Addition and subtraction symbols separate terms. 
4xy is one term 3xy + 5x – 6 

Theorem  A conjecture that is proven. In geometry, properties, postulates and theorems are used to prove other theorems  
Theoretical Probability  The calculated chance that something will happen based on the number of ways possible  in tossing a coin, the theoretical probability of getting heads is: P(heads) = ½ 

Theta Θ θ  Greek letter frequently used to represent angles  
Translation  When a graph is shifted in a horizontal or vertical direction.  
Trapezoid  A quadrilateral with exactly one pair of parallel sides.  Two sides are parallel, other sides are not.  
Trend Line  A line on a scatter plot that can be drawn to pass through the points. The trend line shows the correlation between the two sets of data.  
Triangle  A polygon with three sides and three angles  
Triangular Numbers  A triangular number or triangle number counts the objects that can form an equilateral triangle  
Trigonometry  The study of the relationship between angles and sides in a triangle and the calculations based on them.  
Truncated decimal  A fraction, that when converted to a decimal ends with repeating zeros. Because math people are so lazy, they don't write the zeros or show them as a repeating digit.  ¼ = 0.250000..... = 0.25  
TwoStep Equation  An equation that has two operations and requires two steps to solve. See Solving Simple Equations.  7x  5 = 9 is a twostep equation  
Word  Definition  Examples  
U  
Unbounded intervals  Intervals with end points at + ∞ on the real number line used to define the domain of an inequality. See bounded intervals  [a,∞) means x > a (a,∞) means x > a, an open interval (∞,b] means x < b (∞,b) means x < b, an open interval (∞,∞) means the entire number line 

Undefined terms  Words, usually easily understood, that are not formally explained or defined.  In geometry, point, line, and plane are underfined terms  
Unit Circle  A circle with a radius r = 1 and its center is at the origin. The equation is x^{2} + y^{2} = 1  See Trigonometry  
Unknown  The value represented by a letter in an equation. The unknown is also called the variable.  
Word  Definition  Examples  
V  
Variable  A letter or symbol that is used to represent a number. When a variable is used in an equation, the eqation can be solved to find the value of the variable. This value is the solution to the equation. 
x 

Variable expression  A mathematical phrase that contains at least one variable  8  x is a variable expression  
Vector  A quantity that has both magnitude and direction  Example: 5 miles north  
Vertex  The point on a parabola where the arch turns. If the
parabola opens up, the vertex is the smallest value of the function. More information 

Vertex  The point on a triangle where the sides come together. The vertices of triangles are usually labeled with capital letters.  
Vertical angles  Two angles whose sides are opposite rays  
Vertical line test  A method used to determine if the graph of a relation is a function. For all functions, a vertical line will never cross the graph more than once.  
Volume  The measure of the amount of space enclosed by a threedimentional figure.  The volume of a cube is side X side X side or side 
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