What Is a Nonzero Number?

By Stephanie Ellen; Updated April 24, 2017
Non-primal numbers written on chalkboard

A nonzero number in mathematics is a number than doesn't equal zero. This may seem self-explanatory, but there are several properties that make nonzero numbers distinctive. Without these properties, the numbers might be imaginary numbers, in which case they are neither zeros nor nonzero numbers, or they may take on properties of numbers from other dimensions.


A nonzero number is a type of real number. It's also the binary union of a positive and a negative number -- in other words, you can add a positive and a negative number together to get a nonzero number.


Nonzero numbers are a type of measurable scalar interval. That means that you can use the numbers to measure things. This is in opposition to imaginary numbers, which cannot be used to measure things.


Examples of nonzero numbers include pi, Avogadro's number, e, the golden ration, days since New Year's Day 2014, your age and the number of digits in 1,000,003. Nonzero numbers are countable.


Nonzero numbers are either positive or negative. For example, the number 10 is a nonzero number. It does not matter that there is a "zero" in the number, only that the number itself is positive. Also, -10 is a nonzero number.


Nonzero numbers are also known as numbers that are not scalar null values and numbers than are not zero or 0.

About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.