Directed Distance

Pronunciation: /dɪˈrɛk tɪd ˈdɪs təns/ ?

A directed distance is a distance that may be positive or negative.[1] 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:


Directed Distance. 2010-01-23. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/d/directeddistance.html.

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2010-01-23: Added "References" (McAdams, David.)
2008-07-11: Added number line image (McAdams, David.)
2008-05-07: Initial version (McAdams, David.)

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