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sexagesimal Line breaks: sexa|ges¦imal
Pronunciation: /ˌsɛksəˈdʒɛsɪm(ə)l/

Definition of sexagesimal in English:


1Relating to or reckoning by sixtieths: a decimal system like ours or a sexagesimal system like the Babylonian
2Relating to the number sixty.
Example sentences
  • In ancient Babylon a sexagesimal system, that is a base of 60, was in use.
  • The Babylonian scale of enumeration is known as the sexagesimal system.
  • Writing developed and counting was based on a sexagesimal system, that is to say base 60.


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(also sexagesimal fraction) A fraction based on sixtieths (i.e. with a denominator equal to a power of sixty), as in the divisions of the degree and hour.
Example sentences
  • The first deals with integers, the second with proper common fractions, the third with improper fractions, and finally the fourth with sexagesimals.
  • More fractions can therefore be represented as finite sexagesimal fractions than can as finite decimal fractions.
  • In fact there are fascinating glimpses of the Babylonians coming to terms with the fact that division by 7 would lead to an infinite sexagesimal fraction.


Late 17th century: from Latin sexagesimus 'sixtieth' + -al.




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