Definition of Mersenne number in English:

Mersenne number

Line breaks: Mer|senne num¦ber
Pronunciation: /məːˈsɛn


  • A number of the form 2p−1, where p is a prime number. Such a number which is itself prime is also called a Mersenne prime.
    More example sentences
    • Expressed in the form 2 p - 1, where the exponent p is itself prime, Mersenne numbers have characteristics that make it relatively easy to determine whether a candidate is prime.
    • Written in the form 2 p - 1, where the exponent p is a prime number, Mersenne numbers hold a special place in the never-ending pursuit of larger and larger primes.
    • One must be the Lucas Lehmer primality test which uses the Fermat congruence, and in particular his application to testing whether a Mersenne number was prime.


late 19th century: named after Marin Mersenne (1588–1648), French mathematician.

More definitions of Mersenne number

Definition of Mersenne number in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space