Definition of datum in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdādəm/
Pronunciation: /ˈdadəm/

noun (plural data /ˈdātə/ /ˈdatə/)

1A piece of information. See also data.
Example sentences
  • As noted above, multiple lines of evidence (‘total’ evidence) are preferable to dependence upon a single datum or technique.
  • Statistics are used naively at best: the datum that gunpoint robberies rose 53 percent between April and November of 2001 is almost certainly a random fluctuation and not by itself useful to the argument.
  • A key datum for safe operation of on-track equipment and locomotives on railroad tracks is knowledge of which track a vehicle or locomotive is on.
1.1An assumption or premise from which inferences may be drawn. See sense datum.
Example sentences
  • The claim that there is no analytic entailment from any natural property to any moral property is simply Hume's Law - a datum often supported through use of the open question argument.
  • Nietzsche's datum is very unlike that found in any other philosopher, since it gives primacy to our aesthetic experience, normally low on the list of philosophical priorities, when it figures at all.
  • Rather, Quine and Putnam take application as a fact - a sort of philosophical datum - and draw ontological and semantic conclusions about mathematics.
2A fixed starting point of a scale or operation.
Example sentences
  • Where multiple samples have been taken from a given site, the stratigraphic position of samples is recorded relative to a fixed datum (marker bed, core depth, etc.).
  • Thus, an object's provenience can be stated as being 30m north, 22m east, and 3.5m down from an arbitrary fixed point on the site (called the datum point).
  • The dimensions of the proposed carport are 5.5m long by 3.5m wide. The exact height of the carport is unknown as the plans provided do not indicate any levels based on a fixed datum, however is dimensioned to be 2.4m to the ceiling and 3.036m overall.


Mid 18th century: from Latin, literally 'something given', neuter past participle of dare 'give'.

Words that rhyme with datum

petrolatum, pomatum, Tatum, ultimatum

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: da·tum

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