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# What does reciprocal mean in math?

Wiki User

2012-05-23 19:23:51

Best Answer

A reciprocal is 1 divided by a number.

So, the reciprocal of x is 1/x.

For example:

The reciprocal of 2 is 1/2 is 0.5

The reciprocal of 9 is 1/9 is 0.111111111111

The reciprocal of 0.5 is 1/0.5 is 2.

To divide one by a number is called 'taking the reciprocal.'

If you have a fraction, taking the reciprocal is fairly easy: simply 'flip' it. I.e., put the numerator in the denominator, and the denominator in the numerator.

For example:

The reciprocal of 2/3 is 3/2

The reciprocal of 7/8 is 8/7

The reciprocal of 1/4 is 4 (/1).

The technical mathematical definition of the reciprocal of x is: "The number which, when multiplied by x, gives one."

Wiki User

2012-05-23 19:23:51
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