Mutliplication is one of the four basic operations on numbers (the other basic operations are addition, subtraction, and division). The numbers that are multiplied are called factors, and the answer is called the product.

In 4 × 9 = 36,
4 and 9 are factors.
36 is the product.

Multiplication can be explained by using several different situations. Some of these situations are repeated addition, array, area, and combinations.

Example: repeated addition
There are 3 cookies on each of 4 plates.
4 × 3 = 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12
There are 12 cookies in all
Example: array
There are 2 rows and 7 columns in the ice tray.
2 × 7 = 14
Thus, there are 14 ice cubes in this tray.
Example: area
3 × 4 = 12
The area of the rectangle is 12 square units.
Example: combinations
Danae was going on a trip. She wanted to pack as many outfits as she could, using as few items of clothing as possible. She packed four shirts: turtleneck, knit top, T-shirt, and sweatshirt. She packed three pairs of pants: jeans, sweatpants, and slacks. How many different outfits can she make?
4 × 3 = 12Thus, Danae could make 12 outfits.
A common procedure for doing multiplication is called the partial product algorithm.

See also area, array, basic facts, factor, partial products, product.

Related words multiple, multiplicative, multiply