(Or "whole number") One of the numbers in the set

 ..., -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, ...

There are an infinite number of integers, though each one is finite.

An inductive definition of an integer is a number that is either zero or an integer plus or minus one.

An integer has no fractional part. If written as a real number, e.g. 42.0, the part after the decimal point will be zero.

A natural number is a non-negative integer.

Computers usually store integers in binary. Natural numbers can be stored as unsigned integers and integers that may be negative require a sign bit and typically use twos complement representation. Other representations have been used, such as binary-coded decimal.

Computers are particularly fast when operating on integers as the operations are built into the central processing unit, in contrast to floating point numbers, which typically require the use of a separate floating-point unit.

Last updated: 2019-08-31

Nearby terms:

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