Math Vocabulary To Help You Through Middle School 

math vocabulary for middle school

Can you tell the difference between exponent and exponent function?

If you can, please move on. But, if you can’t, stop right here. I am sorry, but you need help with math vocabulary. And, I have compiled all the mathematical terms you need to know to sail through middle school.

I suggest you bookmark this as your go-to place for all math terms. I have included fraction terms, geometrical terms, and the common words that you come across while solving algebra math problems.

Math Vocabulary for Middle Schoolers | Every Term You Need to Know

Fractions Vocabulary

math vocabulary - fractions

You step into middle school, and the first thing that you need to do is face your fear of fractions. Although fractions are not the toughest part of middle school math, many kids struggle with them. And the primary reason is the complicated vocabulary in fraction class.

So, when I thought about writing a glossary of math terms, I thought of fractions. Let’s begin with its definition.

1. Fraction

A fraction is a number that is written in the form a/b. It’s a part of a whole and always less than one.

Example: ⅔, ⅒, ⅘, ⅕, etc.

2. Numerator

The top number in a fraction that tells how many parts are considered of the whole is called Numerator.

For example, in ⅔, 2 is the Numerator. It is also known as the dividend.

3. Denominator

The bottom number that tells how many equal parts are there in a whole is called the Denominator.

For example, in ⅔, 3 is the Denominator. It is also known as a “divisor.”

4. Equivalent Fractions

Even though they look different, the fractions that represent the same value are equivalent fractions.

Example: 2⁄4 and  4⁄8 are equivalent fractions because they represent the same values, which is 1⁄2

5. Improper fractions

The fraction in which the numerator is a bigger number than the denominator is called an improper fraction. This type of fraction is also called “fractions greater than one.”

Example: 7⁄4, 13⁄8, 11⁄7, etc.

6. Mixed Numbers

The numbers that are a combination of a whole number and a proper fraction and present values greater than 1 are called mixed numbers.

Example: 4⅔, 3⅒, 2⅘, etc.

7. Unit fractions

The fractions with a numerator of one are called unit fractions.

Example: 1⁄4, 1⁄8, 1⁄3, etc.

Algebra Math Terms

math vocabulary - algebra

Middle school math syllabi are filled with algebra-related terms. To score good marks in math, you must know what constants, variables, etc. are. So, without delay, let’s start with algebra-related math words.

8. Constants

A constant in algebra is a fixed quantity that does not change throughout a sum.

Example: 5, –3, π, ½, ℎ, etc.

9. Variables

In algebra, we assign a symbol to an unknown value. That symbol is called a variable.

Middle school’s most commonly used variables are x, y, z, t, etc. Remember that variables are represented with letters.

10. Coefficients

While solving algebra problems, you will come across variables with a number in front of them. That number that is placed in front of a variable is called the coefficient of a variable.

For example, in 2x, 2 is the coefficient of x, and x is the variable.

11. Terms

A term in algebra vocabulary can be a constant, the product of a number and a variable, and the product of two or more variables.

Example: 4, 10, π, ½, 11y, 2×2, 8yz, etc.

12. Expressions

When one or more terms come together, it’s called an expression.

Example: 5x + 4y + 3xy

13. Equations

When an equal sign separates two expressions, it’s called an equation.

Remember that the expression on the right-hand side of the equal sign is equal to the expression on the left-hand side. In other words, both expressions on either side of the equal sign have the same value.

Examples: 3 + 6 = 3 × 3, x = 3 × y, and 2w + 7xy + 3 = 2z + 8, etc.

14. Quadratic Equations

A Quadratic Equation is an equation, such as x2 + 2xy + 3z = 0 where x, y and z are numbers and x ≠ 0.

15. Algebraic Fraction

The fraction with an algebraic expression in its Numerator or Denominator is called an algebraic fraction.

Example: (3x + 2)/5, (4y + 6)/4, etc.

16. Exponent

When a symbol is written above and to the right of a mathematical expression, it’s called an exponent. It indicates the operation of raising to a power.

17. Exponential Function

In an expression, such as d(x) = bx, x is the exponent and b is the exponential function.

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Geometry Vocabulary

In arithmetic, geometry has infinite math terms, and it’s quite challenging to cover all of them. Therefore, I will list only the essential geometry vocabulary for math in middle school.

18. Height/Length of the Segment

The height is the length of the straight imaginary line from a vertex perpendicular to the selected base. Some people also call it the length of that segment.

19. Perpendicular

When a straight line intersects a horizontal line and forms a right angle, it is called a perpendicular in geometry.

math vocabulary - geometry

20. Base

The base of a polygon/polyhedron/triangle is a side that is perpendicular to its height. In simpler words, it’s that side of a geometrical shape that looks like its bottom.

21. Hypotenuse

In geometry, the side opposite to the right angle in a right triangle is called the hypotenuse of that triangle.

22. Angle

In geometry vocabulary, when two lines end at the same point, they form a corner between them. That corner is called an angle in math words.

angles in geometry

23. Vertex

The common endpoint of two rays forming an angle or a point of a polygon or polyhedron where edges are meeting is called a vertex.

24. Angle Bisector

When a line cuts an angle into two other angles of the same degree, it’s referred to as an angle bisector.

25. Acute Angle

In mathematics, an angle that measures greater than 0 and less than 90 degrees is called an acute angle.

26. Right Angle

An angle that measures 90 degrees in geometry is called a right angle.

27. Obtuse Angle

An angle that measures greater than 90 degrees and less than 180 degrees is called an obtuse angle.

28. Complementary Angles

Two angles are called complementary angles in geometry when their total sum equals 90 degrees.

29. Transversal

In geometry words, a transversal is a line that intersects two other lines. In the below picture, the line ab is a transversal.

30. Adjacent Angles

In geometry language, when two angles share a common vertex and a common side, they’re called adjacent angles.

31. Corresponding Angles

When a transversal intersects two parallel lines, angles similar in degrees are formed. Those angles form in corresponding corners or matching corners only, therefore they are called corresponding angles.

32. Vertical Angles

When two lines intersect each other, angles are formed. The angles which fall opposite each other are called vertical angles.

33. Supplementary Angles

The adjacent angles whose total measure is 180 degrees are called supplementary angles.

34. Acute Triangle

A triangle in which all the angles are greater than 0 degrees and less than 90 degrees is called an acute triangle.

types of triangles

35. Right Triangle

A triangle that has an interior angle measuring 90 degrees is called an right angle or right-angled triangle.

Don’t be confused with interior angles; it’s just an angle that is inside the triangle.

36. Scalene Triangle

A triangle with no two sides with the same length is called a scalene triangle in geometry. Remember that even the angles in a scalene triangle measure different from each other.

37. Isosceles Triangle

A triangle in which two sides have the same length is called an isosceles triangle in geometry language.

38. Equilateral Triangle

A triangle in which all three sides have the same length is called an equilateral triangle in geometry. The angles in an equilateral triangle measure 60 degrees.

39. Equiangular Polygon

A triangle in which all three sides have the same length, like an equilateral triangle with all the interior angles measuring 60 degrees, is called an equilateral polygon.

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How can I improve my math vocabulary?

You can improve your mathematical vocabulary by learning more math words. To do that, begin with the basic math-related words, preferably words that are common in middle school syllabi. Then, you can increase your grade level gradually.

Why is math so hard?

Interestingly, it’s not math that we find challenging; it’s the teaching style we fail to understand. As a result, many start thinking that they’re weak in math. We can change the situation by opting for a better teaching method, preferably an activity-based one. By learning math through games and activities, we can fight math anxiety and feel more confident in math.

Why should I learn math words?

You should learn math words to feel comfortable navigating through your math textbook. It will help you solve both word problems and algebraic expressions. You will feel lost and fear math if you don’t know the necessary math vocabulary. So, one must learn math words to become math-confident.

What are the toughest math words for middle school?

The toughest math-related words for middle school are quadratic equations, transversal, equiangular polygon, etc.

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Now that you know the terms related to fractions, algebra, and geometry, you’re good to dive into middle school math. I am confident you’ll not only manage to pass the math tests but also score well.

With that, it’s a wrap. Until next time!

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