Share this entry

Share this page

mantissa

Syllabification: man·tis·sa
Pronunciation: /manˈtisə
 
/

Definition of mantissa in English:

noun

1 Mathematics The part of a logarithm that follows the decimal point.
Example sentences
  • By choosing appropriate mantissas and exponents, we can increase the resolution at shallower depths and degrade it at greater depths.
  • The mantissa provides the significant information, or digits, and the exponent provides a scaling factor that shows how big the number is.
  • Sharp and completely accurate visions of hexadecimal mantissas and binary fractions floated about my head, along with the sure and certain knowledge of how to convert them to something more useful.
2 Computing The part of a floating-point number that represents the significant digits of that number, and that is multiplied by the base raised to the exponent to give the actual value of the number.
Example sentences
  • If you recall, run-of-the-mill DSPs typically store numbers as a floating-point, 24-bit mantissa and an 8-bit exponent.
  • In these cases, the 24-bit fixed standard is equivalent to the 24-bit mantissa, plus 8-bit exponent used in the 32-bit, floating-point version.
  • Double-precision fixed-point would employ two times 24, or a 48-bit word length; double-precision floating-point would use a two times 32, or 64-bit mantissa.

Origin

mid 17th century: from Latin, literally 'makeweight', perhaps from Etruscan.

Definition of mantissa in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ˈɔːθəʊɛpi
noun
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words