# Number vs. Numeral: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 7, 2023

**A "Number" is a mathematical object used to count, measure, and label; a "Numeral" is a symbol or word used to represent a number.**

## Key Differences

"Number" and "Numeral" are two concepts that often create confusion. A number is an abstract concept used to describe quantity, order, and other mathematical concepts. It is a mathematical object used for counting, measuring, and labeling. On the other hand, a numeral is a term used to describe the symbols or words that represent numbers. It is the written or printed symbol used to express the number in its numerical form.

Delving deeper into "Number," it serves as the fundamental building block of mathematics. Numbers allow us to understand quantities, perform calculations, and solve problems. They exist independently of their representations and can be depicted using various numeral systems, such as Roman or Arabic numerals. In contrast, a numeral acts as the written manifestation of the abstract concept of a number. Numerals are what we write or print to denote numbers; they represent the tangible form of numbers.

In mathematical expressions, the term "Number" denotes the value or quantity itself, which can be real, imaginary, rational, or irrational. It is an integral part of mathematical equations and theories. Conversely, "Numeral" is associated with the notation of numbers. It is the way we encode numbers using a consistent set of symbols or words, such as "three" or "3," which facilitates written communication about numbers.

In everyday usage, people often use "Number" to refer to the concept of quantity, order, or value. For example, the number of apples, the number of students, etc. Here, "Number" reflects the amount or the value of something. Meanwhile, "Numeral" comes into play when we write or print those numbers. The numerals are the representations, the notations that allow people to understand, share, and use the concept of numbers in a coherent way.

## Comparison Chart

### Nature

Abstract concept

Symbol or word

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### Represents

Quantity, value, or order

A number

### Role

Fundamental in mathematics

Provides a way to write or print numbers

### Usage

Used to describe quantity and perform calculations

Used to express numbers in written form

### Dependency

Exists independently of representation

Depends on numbers for representation

## Number and Numeral Definitions

#### Number

An abstract concept representing a quantity.

The number of attendees was higher than expected.

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#### Numeral

The written form of a number.

In Arabic numerals, 7 is a numeral representing seven.

#### Number

A designated numerical place in a sequence.

She finished the race in number three position.

#### Numeral

The representation of numbers using consistent symbols or words.

The numeral for four can be written as IV in Roman numerals.

#### Number

A member of the set of positive integers; one of a series of symbols of unique meaning in a fixed order that can be derived by counting.

#### Numeral

A symbol or mark used to represent a number.

#### Number

A member of any of the following sets of mathematical objects

Integers, rational numbers, real numbers, and complex numbers. These sets can be derived from the positive integers through various algebraic and analytic constructions.

#### Numeral

Of, relating to, or representing numbers.

#### Number

Numbers Arithmetic.

#### Numeral

A symbol that is not a word and represents a number, such as the Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3 and the Roman numerals I, V, X, L.

#### Number

A symbol or word used to represent a number.

#### Numeral

A representation of a number composed of such symbols.

#### Number

A numeral or a series of numerals used for reference or identification

His telephone number.

The apartment number.

#### Numeral

(linguistics) A number word, a simple or compound word for a number often having particular grammatical attributes depending on the language.

#### Number

A position in an ordered sequence that corresponds to one of the positive integers

The house that is number three from the corner.

Ranked number six in her class.

#### Numeral

(card games) A card whose rank is a number (usually including the ace as 1).

Jacks, queens, and kings are not numerals.

#### Number

One item in a group or series considered to be in numerical order

An old number of a magazine.

#### Numeral

Of or relating to numbers; numerical.

#### Number

A total; a sum

The number of feet in a mile.

#### Numeral

Of or pertaining to number; consisting of number or numerals.

A long train of numeral progressions.

#### Number

An indefinite quantity of units or individuals

The crowd was small in number. A number of people complained.

#### Numeral

Expressing number; representing number; as, numeral letters or characters, as X or 10 for ten.

#### Number

A large quantity; a multitude

Numbers of people visited the fair.

#### Numeral

A figure or character used to express a number; as, the Arabic numerals, 1, 2, 3, etc.; the Roman numerals, I, V, X, L, etc.

#### Number

Numerical superiority

The South had leaders, the North numbers.

#### Numeral

A word expressing a number.

#### Number

(Grammar) The indication, as by inflection, of the singularity, duality, or plurality of a linguistic form.

#### Numeral

A symbol used to represent a number;

He learned to write the numerals before he went to school

#### Number

Metrical feet or lines; verses

"These numbers will I tear, and write in prose" (Shakespeare).

#### Numeral

Of or relating to or denoting numbers;

A numeral adjective

Numerical analysis

#### Number

(Obsolete) Poetic meter.

#### Numeral

A symbol or word that represents a number.

In Roman numerals, the numeral X represents ten.

#### Number

Numbers(Archaic) Musical periods or measures.

#### Numeral

A written or printed character denoting a number.

The numeral 5 is written as V in Roman notation.

#### Number

Numbers (used with a sing. or pl. verb) Games A numbers game.

#### Numeral

A figure, symbol, or group of these, expressing a number.

The numeral “100” represents one hundred.

#### Number

Numbers (used with a sing. verb) See Table at Bible.

#### Number

One of the separate offerings in a program of music or other entertainment

The band's second number was a march.

#### Number

(Slang) A frequently repeated, characteristic speech, argument, or performance

Suspects doing their usual number—protesting innocence.

#### Number

(Slang) A person or thing singled out for a particular characteristic

A crafty number.

#### Number

To assign a number to or mark with a number

Did you number the pages of the report?.

#### Number

To determine the number or amount of; count

Tickets sold for the show were numbered at 500.

#### Number

To total in number or amount; add up to

The ships in the harbor number around 100.

#### Number

To include in a group or category

He was numbered among the lost.

#### Number

To limit or restrict in number

Our days are numbered.

#### Number

To call off numbers; count

Numbering to ten.

#### Number

To have as a total; amount to a number

The applicants numbered in the thousands.

#### Number

(countable) An abstract entity used to describe quantity.

Zero, one, −1, 2.5, and pi are all numbers.

#### Number

(countable) A numeral: a symbol for a non-negative integer.

The number 8 is usually made with a single stroke.

#### Number

An element of one of several sets: natural numbers, integers, rational numbers, real numbers, complex numbers, and sometimes extensions such as hypercomplex numbers, etc.

The equation $e^\{i\backslash pi\}+1=0$ includes the most important numbers: 1, 0, $\backslash pi$, $i$, and $e$.

#### Number

(Followed by a numeral; used attributively) Indicating the position of something in a list or sequence. Abbreviations: No or No., no or no. (in each case, sometimes written with a superscript "o", like Nº or №). The symbol "#" is also used in this manner.

Horse number 5 won the race.

#### Number

Quantity.

Any number of people can be reading from a given repository at a time.

#### Number

A sequence of digits and letters used to register people, automobiles, and various other items.

Her passport number is C01X864TN.

#### Number

A telephone number.

#### Number

(grammar) Of a word or phrase, the state of being singular, dual or plural, shown by inflection.

Adjectives and nouns should agree in gender, number, and case.

#### Number

Poetic metres; verses, rhymes.

#### Number

(countable) A performance; especially, a single song or song and dance routine within a larger show.

For his second number, he sang "The Moon Shines Bright".

#### Number

A person.

#### Number

An item of clothing, particularly a stylish one.

#### Number

A marijuana cigarette, or joint; also, a quantity of marijuana bought from a dealer.

#### Number

(dated) An issue of a periodical publication.

The latest number of a magazine

#### Number

A large amount, in contrast to a smaller amount; numerical preponderance.

#### Number

A large amount of damage

#### Number

(transitive) To label (items) with numbers; to assign numbers to (items).

Number the baskets so that we can find them easily.

#### Number

(intransitive) To total or count; to amount to.

I don’t know how many books are in the library, but they must number in the thousands.

#### Number

That which admits of being counted or reckoned; a unit, or an aggregate of units; a numerable aggregate or collection of individuals; an assemblage made up of distinct things expressible by figures.

#### Number

A collection of many individuals; a numerous assemblage; a multitude; many.

Ladies are always of great use to the party they espouse, and never fail to win over numbers.

#### Number

A numeral; a word or character denoting a number; as, to put a number on a door.

#### Number

Numerousness; multitude.

Number itself importeth not much in armies where the people are of weak courage.

#### Number

The state or quality of being numerable or countable.

Of whom came nations, tribes, people, and kindreds out of number.

#### Number

Quantity, regarded as made up of an aggregate of separate things.

#### Number

That which is regulated by count; poetic measure, as divisions of time or number of syllables; hence, poetry, verse; - chiefly used in the plural.

I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came.

#### Number

The distinction of objects, as one, or more than one (in some languages, as one, or two, or more than two), expressed (usually) by a difference in the form of a word; thus, the singular number and the plural number are the names of the forms of a word indicating the objects denoted or referred to by the word as one, or as more than one.

#### Number

The measure of the relation between quantities or things of the same kind; that abstract species of quantity which is capable of being expressed by figures; numerical value.

#### Number

To count; to reckon; to ascertain the units of; to enumerate.

If a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

#### Number

To reckon as one of a collection or multitude.

He was numbered with the transgressors.

#### Number

To give or apply a number or numbers to; to assign the place of in a series by order of number; to designate the place of by a number or numeral; as, to number the houses in a street, or the apartments in a building.

#### Number

To amount; to equal in number; to contain; to consist of; as, the army numbers fifty thousand.

Thy tears can not number the dead.

#### Number

The property possessed by a sum or total or indefinite quantity of units or individuals;

He had a number of chores to do

The number of parameters is small

The figure was about a thousand

#### Number

A concept of quantity derived from zero and units;

Every number has a unique position in the sequence

#### Number

A short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program;

He did his act three times every evening

She had a catchy little routine

It was one of the best numbers he ever did

#### Number

A numeral or string of numerals that is used for identification;

She refused to give them her Social Security number

#### Number

The number is used in calling a particular telephone;

He has an unlisted number

#### Number

A symbol used to represent a number;

He learned to write the numerals before he went to school

#### Number

One of a series published periodically;

She found an old issue of the magazine in her dentist's waitingroom

#### Number

A select company of people;

I hope to become one of their number before I die

#### Number

The grammatical category for the forms of nouns and pronouns and verbs that are used depending on the number of entities involved (singular or dual or plural);

In English the subject and the verb must agree in number

#### Number

An item of merchandise offered for sale;

She preferred the black nylon number

This sweater is an all-wool number

#### Number

A clothing measurement;

A number 13 shoe

#### Number

Add up in number or quantity;

The bills amounted to $2,000

The bill came to $2,000

#### Number

Give numbers to;

You should number the pages of the thesis

#### Number

Enumerate;

We must number the names of the great mathematicians

#### Number

Put into a group;

The academy counts several Nobel Prize winners among its members

#### Number

Determine the number or amount of;

Can you count the books on your shelf?

Count your change

#### Number

Place a limit on the number of

#### Number

A mathematical value used in counting and calculations.

Seven is a prime number.

#### Number

A quantity ascertained by counting.

The number of books on the shelf is twenty.

#### Number

A mathematical object used to measure, label, and calculate.

The number zero is an integer.

## FAQs

#### What is a numeral?

A numeral is a symbol or word that represents a number.

#### Do numerals have numerical value?

No, numerals represent numbers, but they are symbols without numerical value themselves.

#### Are numbers crucial for mathematics?

Yes, numbers are fundamental for performing calculations and solving mathematical problems.

#### Is a number a tangible object?

No, a number is an abstract mathematical concept.

#### Can the concept of number exist without numerals?

Yes, numbers are abstract and can exist independently of numerals.

#### Can numbers exist without being represented by numerals?

Yes, numbers are abstract concepts and exist independently of their representation.

#### Can numerals represent negative numbers?

Yes, numerals can represent both positive and negative numbers.

#### Is zero a number?

Yes, zero is a number that represents the absence of quantity.

#### Can a numeral represent more than one number?

No, a specific numeral represents a specific number.

#### Can numbers represent fractions or decimals?

Yes, numbers can be whole, fractional, decimal, real, or imaginary.

#### Can numerals have different forms?

Yes, numerals can be expressed in different numeral systems, like Arabic or Roman numerals.

#### Do numerals only represent whole numbers?

No, numerals can represent whole numbers, fractions, decimals, etc., depending on the numeral system.

#### Can the term number refer to a digit?

No, a digit is a numeral or a single symbol used to represent numbers in a positional numeral system.

#### Are numerals dependent on the concept of numbers?

Yes, numerals are dependent on numbers as they represent them.

#### Is every number representable by a numeral?

In theory, every number can be represented by a numeral, but some numbers, like certain irrational numbers, cannot be precisely expressed in a numeral system.

About Author

Written by

Janet WhiteJanet 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.

Edited by

Aimie CarlsonAimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.