# Integers

Integers are the set of numbers {, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, } that encompass the counting numbers, {1, 2, 3, }, the negative of the counting numbers, { 3, 2, 1} and zero. Integers can be shown on a simple number line.

The integers on the left side of zero (0) are called negative numbers, and are represented by a negative sign () placed before them, as in 5, 10, and 15.* The integers on the right side of 0 are called positive numbers. Examples include 5, 10, and 15. The positive integers are known as counting numbers or natural numbers. The positive integers and 0 are called whole numbers. Zero is an integer but it is neither positive nor negative.

*Some historians believe the first evidence of the use of negative numbers was around 300 b.c.e. in China.

Integers are used in everyday life. A debt or a loss is often expressed with a negative integer. A gain is usually expressed with a positive integer. When the temperature is warmer than the zero point of the temperature scale, it is represented with a positive sign; when it is colder than the zero point, it is represented with a negative sign.

Marzieh Thomasian

## Bibliography

Aufmann, Richard N., and Vernon C. Baker. Basic College Mathematics, 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991.

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## integer

integer Any negative or positive whole number or zero, e.g. … −3, −2, −1, 0, 1, 2, 3 … There are a limitless (infinite) number of integers. The positive integers are the natural numbers. The existence of negative integers and zero allow any integer to be subtracted from any other integer to give an integer result.

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## integer

integer XVI. — L. integer intact, ENTIRE.
So integral making up a whole, made up of parts XVI; (math.) XVIII. — late L. integrālis. integrate XVII. f. pp. stem of L. integrāre. integration XVII. — L. integrity XV. — F. or L.

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## integer

integer a whole number; a number which is not a fraction. The word is recorded from the early 16th century, as an adjective meaning ‘entire, whole’, and comes from Latin, ‘intact, whole’.

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## integer

integer A whole number, as opposed to a rational or real number. The concept of integer type is used for computer representation of a finite subset of the integers.

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## integer

in·te·ger / ˈintijər/ • n. 1. a whole number; a number that is not a fraction. 2. a thing complete in itself.

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## integer

integer: see number; number theory.

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## integer

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