Glossary of Math Vocabulary


Above – In extended space over and not touching; at a higher level than

Actual – Exist in act or fact; real

Add – Increase in amount or number

After – Behind in position or place; later in time than

Amount – The total or sum

Afternoon – The time from noon or lunchtime to evening

All done – Finished

Altogether – In total

Around – On every side of

Ascending – Arranged from smallest to largest

Attribute – A characteristic like size, shape, or color


Balance – To make equal or to be equal

Bar Graph – A graph using parallel bars of varying lengths to demonstrate an amount or quantity

Before – In front of

Behind – At the back of

Big – Of considerable size

Bye bye – An expression used when departing another’s company


Calculate – To determine the amount or number of something

Certain – Inevitable; will definitely happen

Characteristics/Attributes – Qualities or features of someone or something

Circle – A 2-dimensional shape made by drawing a curve that is always the same distance from the center

Classify – To arrange a group of people or things items in classes or categories according to shared characteristics and providing a name to the grouping

Clock – Measures time

Closed – To move from an open position

Clue – A piece of evidence or information used to solve a problem

Collect –  To bring together in a group; gather

Compare – To esimate, measure or note the similarity or dissimilarity between two or more things

Conclusion – The end or close; the final decision

Cone – A solid shape with a circular base and a curved surface that tapers to a point

Corresponding – Similar in function and form

Count – To identify the amount of something by number

Crescent – The shape of the visible part of the moon when it is less than half full; a shape that is a single curve that is broad in the center and tapers to a point at each end

Cube – A solid shape that has 6 square faces all equal in size, 8 vertices, and 12 equal edges

Cylinder – A solid shape with one curved surface and two identical bases


Data – Facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis

Descending order – Arranged from largest to smallest

Diagonal – In a slanted direction

Diamond – A rhombus where all 4 sides are equal

Difference – The distance between two numbers (subtraction)

Different – Not similar in size, shape, color or other characteristic

Dime – A coin worth 10 cents (a tenth of a dollar)

Direction – The course or path on which something or someone is moving

Distance – The length between two points

Divide – To separate or to be separated into parts

Down – To direct or move to a lower place or position


Edge – The side of a polygon where two faces of a solid figure meet

Eighth – One of eight equal parts of the shape

Equal shares – To divide a whole fairly and equally; fair distribution

Equals – To be the same in number or amount

Estimate – To form an approximate judgment or opinion regarding the amount, worth, size, weight, etc., of; to calculate approximately

Even – Number that is divisible by 2; numbers that end in 0, 2, 4, 6 & 8

Evening – The period of time at the end of the day, usually from about 6 p.m. to bedtime


Face – A flat surface of a 3-dimensional shape

Far – Over a large expanse of space or time

Fewest – A small number of, opposite of the term “most”

First – An ordinal number; number one; the beginning one.

Flip – To turn over

Fourth – One of four equal parts of the shape

Fraction – Any part of a group

Front of – To locate before or ahead of


Get ready – To prepare for an event or action

Go – To move from place or point to another

Graph – A diagram that exhibits a relationship between two sets of numbers as a set of points having coordinates determined by the relationship

Greatest amount – Largest amount; the one with the most

Greater than – More than; shows relationship between numbers

Groups – A number of things or people that are located close together or are classed together

Growing pattern – A pattern that shows an increasing or decreasing sequence and is used to help children analyze mathematical changes



Half – One of two equal parts of the shape

Heart – A shape that is comprised of two circles touching along a horizontal axis and the union of a V shape centered at the bottom of the circles (♥)

Heavier –
To have greater weight

Height – The measurement from top to bottom. Usually the terms tall (taller, tallest) and short (shorter, shortest) are used when referring to height

Hello –
An expression used as a greeting when meeting or seeing someone

Hexagon –
A shape with six straight sides and six corners

Horizontal – Parallel to the plane of the horizon

How many –
The total or sum

Hour –
A period of time equal to a twenty-fourth part of a day and night and divided into 60 minutes


Identify – Establish or indicate who or what (someone or something) is

Impossible – No chance; will not happen

In common – To share equally

Inch – A unit for measuring length

Increase – To get larger in size or number

Inside – Interior, in something


Label – A descriptive term

Least – To have the smallest quantity or number

Length – The longest extent of anything as measured from end to end

Length of time – The extent or duration

Less – Not as many as

Less than – A value that is smaller in number

Lighter – Having less weight than

Line of Symmetry –  To divide an object or design in half so that both sides are the same

Little – Small in size

Longer than – To have an extended duration of time comparatively

Long, Longer, Longest – Comparison words for length


Measure – Use of standard units to find out size or quantity in regard to length, breadth, height, area, mass, weight, volume, capacity, temperature, and time

Middle – A point dividing a line segment or group in half

Minute – A period of time equal to sixty seconds or a sixtieth of an hour

More than – A value that is higher or greater in number

More than, Less than, The same – Words used to compare quantity

Morning – The period of time from sunrise to noon

Most To have the greatest quantity or number


Next to – Beside, along

Near – Close to

Nickel – A coin worth 5 cents (a fifth of a dollar)

Night The period of darkness in each twenty-four hours; the time from sunset to sunrise

Nonstandard Other than standard

Number – Used to describe quantities or values

Number line – A line marked with numbers.

Numeral – The symbol used to represent a number or “how many”

Numerical order – A number sequence that is arranged together in a systematic form


Octagon – A polygon with 8 sides.  A stop sign is a octagon

Odd – A number that is not evenly divisible by 2; numbers that end in 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9

On – To position at the upper surface of, touching from above

Open – To move from a closed position

Ordinal numbers – Numbers that shows place or position (e.g., 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)

Oval A stretched out circle that is shaped like an egg

Over – To extend directly upward from


Pattern – Something that repeats more than once

Penny – One cent

Pentagon – A polygon with 5 sides

Plus – The addition of

Point – An exact position or location

Polygon – A plane shape having 3 or more straight sides

Positional words – Words allow you to follow and give directions and to use language precisely

Possible – A chance that something might happen

Predict – To guess what will happen next

Prism – A solid 3-dimensional shape with two identical bases and with sides that are parallelograms

Probability – The chance that something is going to happen


Quadrilateral – A polygon with 4 sides

Quarter – A coin worth 25 cents (a quarter of a dollar)


Recognition of numerals To identify numbers by word of symbol

Record – To write down or indicate

RectangleA 4-sided flat shape with straight sides where all interior angles are right angles (90°). Also opposite sides are parallel and of equal length.
Example: A square is a special type of rectangle.

Relative positioning – Where one object is in relation to another object

Remain – Amount left over

Repeating – To do or make again and again

Represents – To show or stand for

Round – To be shaped like a circle


Same – Identical in kind or quantity

Second – An ordinal number; the position after first; a unit of tie

Sequence – An ordered set of numbers, shapes, or other mathematical objects arranged according to a rule

Shape – A form or outline

Short, Shorter, Shortest – Comparison words for length

Shorter than – To have less time or length comparatively

Similar – To have like attributes

Skip count – To count forwards or backwards in multiples or intervals of a given number

Slide – To move an item in any direction without rotating it

Small – Decreased in size

Sort To seperate items according to a given attribute

Sphere – A ball; a 3-dimensional solid that is perfectly round

Square A shape with four straight sides that are the same length or size and four corners

Squarebased pyramid – A pyramid with four triangular faces and one square face

Standard Something considered by an authority or by general consent a basis of comparison (for example, rulers, cup measurers, scale)

Star – A pointy shape that has four or more pointed parts coming out from a center at equal distances

Subtract – To take one quantity away from another

Survey – A method of collecting data by asking people questions

Symmetry – When two sides of the whole are exactly like one another


Take away To remove something

Tall, Taller, Tallest – To use to compare stature/height

Tally – To use marks to record counting; to count by 5s to get the total

Tetrahedron – A pyramid with four faces that are all triangles

Threedimensional – A shape having 3 dimensions (length, width, and height)

Through – To move in one side and out of the other side

Time The measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues

Timeline – A graphic representation of the passage of time as a line

Total – The complete amount of items counted

Travel – To move from one place to another

Triangle A pointy shape with three sides and three corners

Turn – To rotate around a point

Twodimensional – A shape having 2 dimensions (width and length)


Under – In a lower level than

Up – Toward the sky or higher position


Vertical – In an up-down position; upright

Vertice – The corner; the point where the edges of a solid figure meet


Weigh – To measure according to weight

Whole – All the parts; all, everything, total amount

Width The extent from side to side or breadth