Definition of binomial in English:

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Pronunciation: /bīˈnōmēəl/


1 Mathematics An algebraic expression of the sum or the difference of two terms.
Example sentences
  • Al-Khwarizmi's concept of algebra can now be grasped with greater precision: it concerns the theory of linear and quadratic equations with a single unknown, and the elementary arithmetic of relative binomials and trinomials.…
  • It says ‘factor as the product of linear binomials or write prime.’
  • Foil, First-Outer-Inner-Last, refers to the distributive property for multiplying two binomials.
2A two-part name, especially the Latin name of a species of living organism (consisting of the genus followed by the specific epithet).
Example sentences
  • Then came the great reform of Carolus Linnaeus and his system of Latin binomials, identifying each organism by genus and species.
  • Genes and proteins are named with the two first letters representing the initial letters of the Latin binomial followed by the original symbol.
  • The authors were inconsistent in providing the binomial following common names of organisms, including crops, within the text.
3 Grammar A noun phrase with two heads joined by a conjunction, in which the order is relatively fixed (as in knife and fork).
Example sentences
  • Why stop at calling "salt and pepper" a compound, rather than a binomial?
  • Based on an analysis of 692 binomial tokens from online corpora, we show that a number of semantic, metrical, and frequency constraints contribute significantly to ordering preferences, overshadowing the phonological factors that have traditionally been considered important.
  • The analysis of formulaic German binomial expressions of the form N und N reveals the following characteristics.


1 Mathematics Consisting of two terms.
Example sentences
  • Cotes discovered an important theorem on the nth roots of unity, anticipated the method of least squares and discovered a method of integrating rational fractions with binomial denominators.
  • These expansions of the binomial equation describe all the possible outcomes from the experiment above.
  • There is an infinite number of solutions for the binomial equation (in real numbers).
1.1Relating to a binomial or to the binomial theorem.
Example sentences
  • One of the results on which al-Karaji uses this form of induction comes from his work on the binomial theorem, the binomial coefficients and the Pascal triangle.
  • He improved methods for finding square and cube roots, and extended the method to the numerical solution of polynomial equations computing powers of sums using binomial coefficients constructed with Pascal's triangle.
  • For example in Li's method of writing the sum of the pth powers of the first n natural numbers as sums of binomial coefficients is given.
2Having or using two names, used especially of the Latin name of a species of living organism.
Example sentences
  • Gmelin attributed to Chemnitz's species the binomial name Arca pectinata.
  • Despite the fact that traces are not organisms the Linnaean binomial scheme is used to name them, but only to the level of ichnogenus and ichnospecies.
  • In the Linnaean system of classification, the generic status of a species is part of its binomial name, and it is therefore important that the classification at the level of genus is consistent at least in related groups of organisms.


Mid 16th century: from French binôme or modern Latin binomium (from bi- 'having two' + Greek nomos 'part, portion') + -al.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bi·no·mi·al

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