What Is an Integer?

An integer is a whole number. An integer may be positive, negative, or zero:

Mathematicians use the symbol to represent the set of integers.

Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines an integer as "a whole number or undivided quantity. Opposed to fraction."

Examples of Integers

An integer is a whole number. Some examples of integers are given below:

An integer does not contain a fractional part. They cannot be fractions or decimals. Some examples of numbers that are not integers are shown below:

Integers on a Number Line

The image below shows the integers on the number line.

  • The integers on the number line go on forever to the left and right.

  • Integers do not exist in between the whole numbers labelled.

  • The number line shows the ordering of the integers. The further right on the number line an integer is, the greater it is.

    Any integer is greater than an integer to its left. Any integer is less than any integer to its right.

    This means that 3 is greater than 2, but −3 is less than −2.


The slider below shows some of the properties of integers.

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See Also

What is a positive number? What is a negative number? What is a number line? What is a fraction?