# What Is a Denominator?

## What Is a Denominator?

The denominator is the number written below the line of a fraction. The denominator of this fraction is 4.

(The number above the line is called the numerator. It is 1 in the fraction above).

### Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the denominator as "The number written below the line in a vulgar fraction, which gives the denomination or value of the parts into which the integer is divided."

## Examples of Denominators

The denominator of the fraction 2/3 (two-thirds) is 3. The denominator of the fraction 5/7 (five-sevenths) is 7. ## What Does the Denominator Mean?

A fraction is a part of a whole number.

The denominator tells you how many equal parts the whole is divided into.

(The numerator tells you how many parts of the whole number there are).

## Visualizing the Denominator

Thinking of slices of a cake is a useful way of visualizing the denominator. A fraction is a part of a whole number. So it can be visualized as a number of slices of cake, which are parts of the whole cake.

The denominator tells you how many slices the cake is cut into:

• A denominator of 1 means the cake is left whole. • A denominator of 2 means the cake is cut into 2 equal slices. • A denominator of 3 means the cake is cut into 3 equal slices. (The numerator tells you how many slices are in the fraction. In our example above, we have included 1 slice of the 3 equal slices. The numerator of this fraction is 1.)