Definition for AL'GE-BRA

AL'GE-BRA, n. [Ar. al and جَبْرٌ gaboron, the reduction of parts to a whole, or fractions to whole numbers, from the verb, which signifies to consolidate; Heb. Ch. Syr. and Eth. גבר, to be strong.]

The science of quantity in general, or universal arithmetic. Algebra is a general method of computation, in which signs and symbols, which are commonly the letters of the alphabet, are made to represent numbers and quantities. It takes an unknown quantity sought, as if granted; and, by means of one or more quantities given, proceeds till the quantity supposed is discovered, by some other known quantity to which it is equal. This science was of Oriental discovery; but whether among the Arabians or Indians, is uncertain.

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