Definition of idempotent in English:


Line breaks: idem|po¦tent
Pronunciation: /ˌʌɪdɛmˈpəʊt(ə)nt
, ʌɪˈdɛmpət(ə)nt


  • Denoting an element of a set which is unchanged in value when multiplied or otherwise operated on by itself.
    More example sentences
    • Read his paper, On a conjecture of Littlewood and idempotent measures, American Journal of Mathematics 82, 191-212.
    • We have already seen the addpath function, which performs an idempotent addition of a pathel to a pathvar.
    • The purpose of addpath is to add a pathel (path element) to a pathvar (path variable) in an idempotent fashion.


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  • An idempotent element.
    More example sentences
    • Every left ideal is generated by an idempotent, and R is von neumann.
    • Further, an idempotent is semiprimitive if it is central and if it cannot be expressed as u+v where u and v are central idempotents with uv = 0.


late 19th century: from Latin idem 'same' + potent1.

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