Mathematical Language

Research suggests that mathematical language plays a vital role in students' success in numeracy. Consisistency of the mathematical language across the curriculum experienced by students is of paramount importance. 


The following is a glossary of mathematical terms. The glossary is designed to inform students, parents and teachers of the vocabulary and meaning of terms in mathematics that students may have encountered in primary school and will encounter when they transfer to post-primary education. Many of these terms are used throughout the strands in junior cycle, but it is not a comprehensive list for Junior Cert. The definitions and examples here are specifically chosen for use in 5th and 6th classes in primary and junior cycle mathematics in post-primary schools in Ireland.


NCCA/PPDS Bridging Mathematical Glossary



Dr Máire Ní Ríordáin's exemplar offers an approach to teaching mathematical vocabulary that can be adapted for other mathematical terms.


Dr. Máire Ní Ríordáin's Mathematical Register



This resource pack has been planned and developed to support the teaching and learning of numeracy and numerical literacy in JCSP schools and, in particular, the vocabulary, language and communication component of numerical literacy. Please note that this suite of “Keywords of Numeracy” is not exhaustive and teachers may add to and extend the suite as required.






The “Key Definitions in Numeracy” resource book has been planned and developed to support the teaching and learning of numeracy and numerical literacy in JCSP schools. Concise and student-friendly definitions of key concepts, processes and terminology of numeracy are provided in this resource book. An additional suite of key measurement formulae is also provided.