Absolute Value

Absolute Value

a number considered without regard to its algebraic sign (i.e., whether it is positive or negative). For example, assume that for each person in a weight management program there was a number indicating the difference between the current week’s weight and the weight on the previous week. This could reveal a negative number (e.g., –1) if the person lost one pound; conversely, it could be a positive value (e.g., +1) if the person weighed one pound more than last week. If the absolute value of the weight difference was taken, it would simply reveal a difference of 1 pound, without any indication of whether it was plus or minus. Also called modulus.

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