Meaning of absolute value

ab'solute val'ue

Pronunciation: [key]
— Math. Math.
  1. the magnitude of a quantity, irrespective of sign; the distance of a quantity from zero. The absolute value of a number is symbolized by two vertical lines, as ∥3∥ or ∥−3∥ is 3.
  2. the square root of the sum of the squares of the real and imaginary parts of a given complex number, as ∥a + bi∥ is equal to a+b&fullradicover;. Also called
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.