Directed Distance

Pronunciation: /dɪˈrɛk tɪd ˈdɪs təns/ Explain

A directed distance is a distance that may be positive or negative. By convention, distance is usually taken to be a positive quantity. In analytical geometry, a directed distance may be used. This is useful for measuring the distance of a point from the origin.

By convention, a positive directed distance is to the right, up, or towards the viewer. A negative distance is to the left, down, or away from the viewer. One example of directed distance is a number line with negative numbers.

Number line showing -10 to 10
Figure 1: Directed distance on a number line.

Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Directed Distance. 7/4/2018. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC.

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Revision History

7/4/2018: Removed broken links, updated license, implemented new markup, implemented new Geogebra protocol. (McAdams, David E.)
1/23/2010: Added "References". (McAdams, David E.)
7/11/2008: Added number line image. (McAdams, David E.)
5/7/2008: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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