Prime Number

Pronunciation: /praɪm ˈnʌm bər/ Explain

A prime number is an integer that is evenly divisible only by 1 and itself. An example of a prime number is the integer 5. The only integers that divide evenly into 5 are 1 and 5. If we try to divide 5 by 2, we get 2 1/2, which is not an integer.

A composite number is an integer that is not prime. 6 is not a prime number. 6 is evenly divisible by both 2 and 3, so 6 is a composite number.

More Information

  • Malkevitch, Joseph. Primes. ams.org. American Mathematical Society. 2/6/2010. http://www.ams.org/featurecolumn/archive/primes1.html.

Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Prime Number. 5/5/2011. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/p/primenumber.html.

Revision History

9/3/2008: Expanded 'More Information'. (McAdams, David E.)
7/12/2007: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)
3/22/2007: Revised See Also to match current standard. (McAdams, David E.)

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