Zero Sum

Pronunciation: /ˈzɪər.oʊ sʌm/ Explain
  1. A zero sum is made by adding a value and its additive inverse. Zero sums are used in canceling while simplifying.

    Canceling Using a Zero Sum
    1x + 3 = 5 This is the equation to simplify.
    2x + 3 - 3 = 5 - 3 Subtract 3 from both sides. The 3 - 3 on the left side of the equation is a zero sum.
    3x + 0 = 2 Simplify the constant terms
    4x = 2 Apply the additive property of zero to transform x + 0 to x. This is the solution.

  2. In game theory, a zero sum game is a game where the gains of one player must be offset by the losses of other players. See Zero sum game in Wikipedia Encyclopedia.


  1. McAdams, David E.. All Math Words Dictionary, zero sum. 2nd Classroom edition 20150108-4799968. pg 192. Life is a Story Problem LLC. January 8, 2015. Buy the book

Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Zero Sum. 5/13/2019. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC.

Revision History

5/13/2019: Changed equations and expressions to new format. (McAdams, David E.)
12/21/2018: Reviewed and corrected IPA pronunication. (McAdams, David E.)
12/17/2018: Removed broken links, updated license, implemented new markup. (McAdams, David E.)
9/28/2009: Changed example from paragraph to table. (McAdams, David E.)
12/24/2008: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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