# Dividend

In the context of mathematics, a dividend refers to the number that is being divided in a division problem. It is not to be confused with its other definition as the distribution of part of a company's earnings to its shareholders.

Division problems can be presented in a number of different ways, as shown below, so it is important to be able to recognize the components of a division problem in different formats. The dividend, 12, in the division problem below is shown in orange.

In this particular problem, the divisor, or the number that the dividend is divided by, is 3, and the quotient, or the solution to the division problem, is 4.

It is important to understand the various parts of a division sentence (and equations in general) to be able to understand and communicate mathematics. However, it is also important to understand division as a concept. One way to conceptualize division is to think of it in terms of a given number of objects being broken up into a given number of groups containing an equal number of objects. For example, in 8 ÷ 2 = 4, there are a total of 8 objects that are broken up into 4 groups. In order for each group to have an equal number of objects, each group would have to have 2 objects, as in the figure below.

The dividend in the figure above is represented by the 8 red circles.