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Mathematic vs. Mathematical: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 7, 2023
"Mathematic" is an uncommon and somewhat archaic singular noun referring to the abstract science of number, quantity, and space, while "mathematical" is an adjective relating to mathematics, its concepts, or methods.

Key Differences

Mathematic is a rarely used term that refers to the field of study dealing with numbers and calculations. Mathematical pertains to the attributes or aspects of this field, describing things related to or characterized by mathematics.
Mathematic, as a singular noun, is an older form that is not commonly used in modern English. In contrast, mathematical is widely used as an adjective in contemporary contexts, such as mathematical equations or mathematical logic.
Mathematic can be seen as the body of knowledge encompassing concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and analysis. Mathematical, however, describes the precise and logical nature of the study or application of this knowledge.
A mathematic principle is a foundational truth within the discipline of mathematics. A mathematical problem, however, is a problem that is solved using mathematical methods or principles.
The term mathematic does not appear frequently in current mathematical discourse or education. On the other hand, mathematical is a standard term used in educational curriculums, scholarly articles, and everyday language when discussing the subject.

Comparison Chart


Noun (less common, archaic)
Adjective (commonly used)


Refers to the science or discipline as a whole
Describes characteristics, concepts, or matters pertaining to mathematics

Example in Sentence

Mathematic can be fascinating. (uncommon usage)
Mathematical problems require logical thinking.

Modern Relevance

Rarely used in modern language
Frequently used in academic and educational contexts


Does not have variants
Has variants like mathematically, mathematician, mathematics

Mathematic and Mathematical Definitions


Pertaining to the systematic study of numbers, shapes, and patterns.
The mathematic principles of this equation are quite complex.


Characterized by the abstract science of number, quantity, and space.
Mathematical theories often begin as abstract concepts.


Involving rigorous logic or precision in calculation.
Her mathematic approach to the problem yielded an exact answer.


Resembling or having qualities of precise calculation.
He approached the issue with mathematical precision.


A theoretical framework for understanding the physical world.
His study in the mathematic field led to innovative theories in physics.


Pertaining to mathematics.
Mathematical formulas are essential for solving physics problems.


Relating to abstract structures or systems considered as a branch of knowledge.
They discussed the philosophic implications of mathematic discoveries.


Relating to the study or use of numbers and shapes to calculate, represent, or describe things.
Mathematical models can predict weather patterns.


Characterized by the use of symbols and rules to manipulate those symbols.
The mathematic language of algebra uses letters to represent numbers.


Using or done by mathematics.
She made a mathematical discovery that challenged previous assumptions.


Of or relating to mathematics.


Of or relating to mathematics.


Precise; exact.


Precise; exact.


Absolute; certain.


Absolute; certain.


Possible according to mathematics but highly improbable
The team has only a mathematical chance to win the championship.


(archaic) mathematical


See Mathematical.


Can "mathematical" describe a person's thinking style?

Yes, if someone thinks in a logical and precise way, their thinking can be described as mathematical.

Is "mathematic" a noun or an adjective?

"Mathematic" can be an adjective, but the noun form is "mathematics."

What is the meaning of "mathematic"?

"Mathematic" is an archaic form of the word "mathematics," used to denote anything pertaining to mathematical science.

What does "mathematical" mean?

"Mathematical" refers to anything related to mathematics, the science of numbers and their operations.

Can "mathematic" be used as an adjective?

Historically, yes, but in modern English, "mathematical" is the correct adjective form.

Is "mathematical" used only in academic contexts?

No, "mathematical" can be used in various contexts, including everyday situations that involve precision or logic.

How do you pronounce "mathematic"?

"Mathematic" is pronounced as \măth-uh-măt'ik.

Is "mathematic" still used in modern English?

No, "mathematic" is rarely used; "mathematical" is the preferred contemporary term.

Can "mathematical" refer to precision in arts?

While unusual, "mathematical" can describe the precise and methodical nature of certain art forms.

Can "mathematic" be used in modern writing?

It's not incorrect, but it would give a text an archaic or stylistic flavor. "Mathematical" is preferred for modern usage.

What is the origin of the word "mathematic"?

"Mathematic" comes from the Greek word "mathematikos," meaning "fond of learning."

Why is "mathematical" more common than "mathematic"?

"Mathematical" evolved as the more accepted form in English for describing things related to the field of mathematics.

What does a "mathematical approach" mean?

A "mathematical approach" means a method based on logic, precision, and quantitative reasoning.

How is "mathematical" used in education?

"Mathematical" describes subjects, concepts, and skills taught in the study of mathematics.

Can "mathematical" describe someone's work?

Yes, if their work involves or is characteristic of mathematics.

What is a "mathematical equation"?

A mathematical equation is a statement that asserts the equality of two expressions.

Are "mathematical" and "mathematic" interchangeable?

Not in contemporary usage; "mathematical" is the correct term to use.

What is a "mathematical model"?

A mathematical model is a representation of a system using mathematical concepts and language.

Can "mathematic" be pluralized?

No, as an archaic adjective, it does not have a plural form. The noun "mathematics" is already plural.

Is there a difference between "mathematical" and "mathematics"?

Yes, "mathematical" is an adjective describing something related to mathematics, while "mathematics" is a noun referring to the field of study itself.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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