Definition of scalar in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈskālər/
Mathematics & Physics


(Of a quantity) having only magnitude, not direction.
Example sentences
  • However, mass is atypical scalar quantity and therefore its value will not depend on the polarization of the exciting light that is used to measure it.


A scalar quantity. Compare with vector (sense 1 of the noun).
Example sentences
  • Together these three loci seem to fit the circumstances under which separate estimates of both mutation scalars and inheritance scalars can be obtained.
  • These types are what you'd expect: scalars hold numerical values or strings, columns hold lists of numbers, grids hold two-dimensional matrices and images hold pixels.
  • With multiple loci, each locus has a mutation rate scalar parameter such that the product of all mutation rate scalars is equal to 1.


Mid 17th century: from Latin scalaris, from scala 'ladder' (see scale3).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sca·lar

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