1. A branch of mathematics in which symbols, usually letters of the alphabet, represent numbers or members of a specified set and are used to represent quantities and to express general relationships that hold for all members of the set.
2. A set together with a pair of binary operations defined on the set. Usually, the set and the operations simultaneously form both a ring and a module.
[Middle English, bone-setting, and Italian, algebra, both from Medieval Latin, from Arabic al-jabr (wa-l-muqābala), the restoration (and the compensation), addition (and subtraction) : al-, the + jabr, bone-setting, restoration (from jabara, to set (bones), force, restore; see gpr in the Appendix of Semitic roots).]
al′ge·braist (-brāĭst) n.
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