Meaning of ASSOCIATIVE LAW in English

in mathematics, either of two laws relating to number operations of addition and multiplication, stated symbolically: a + (b + c) = (a + b) + c, and a(bc) = (ab)c; that is, the terms or factors may be associated in any way desired. While associativity holds for positive or negative, integral or fractional, rational or irrational, or real or imaginary numbers, there are certain exceptionsas in nonassociative algebras, and nonadditivity of divergent series. See also commutative law; distributive law.

Britannica English vocabulary.      Английский словарь Британика.