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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Statistics \Sta*tis"tics\ (st[.a]*t[i^]s"t[i^]ks), n. [Cf. F. statistique, G. statistik. See State, n.]

  1. The science which has to do with the collection, classification, and analysis of facts of a numerical nature regarding any topic. Specifically: The science dealing with collection, tabulation, and analysis of facts respecting the condition of the people in a state.

    Note: [In this sense grammatically singular.]

  2. pl. Classified facts of a numerical nature regarding any topic. Specifically:

    1. Numerical facts respecting the condition of the people in a state, their health, their longevity, domestic economy, arts, property, and political strength, their resources, the state of the country, etc., or respecting any particular class or interest; especially, those facts which can be stated in numbers, or in tables of numbers, or in any tabular and classified arrangement.

    2. (Sport) Numerical facts regarding the performance of athletes or athletic teams, such as winning percentages, numbers of games won or lost in a season, batting averages (for baseball players), total yards gained (for football players). The creation and classification of such numbers is limited only by the imagination of those wishing to describe athletic performance numerically.

      Syn: stats.

  3. The branch of mathematics which studies methods for the calculation of probabilities.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1770, "science dealing with data about the condition of a state or community" [Barnhart], from German Statistik, popularized and perhaps coined by German political scientist Gottfried Aschenwall (1719-1772) in his "Vorbereitung zur Staatswissenschaft" (1748), from Modern Latin statisticum (collegium) "(lecture course on) state affairs," from Italian statista "one skilled in statecraft," from Latin status (see state (n.2)). OED points out that "the context shows that [Aschenwall] did not regard the term as novel," but current use of it seems to trace to him. Sir John Sinclair is credited with introducing it in English use. Meaning "numerical data collected and classified" is from 1829; hence the study of any subject by means of extensive enumeration. Abbreviated form stats first recorded 1961.


n. (context singular in construction English) A mathematical science concerned with data collection, presentation, analysis, and interpretation.


n. a branch of applied mathematics concerned with the collection and interpretation of quantitative data and the use of probability theory to estimate population parameters

Statistics (song)

"Statistics" is an R&B/Soul song performed and released by Chester Lyfe Jennings who also co-wrote the song with Tyler Williams. Released in 2010, it was the first track on the artists, self-proclaimed, fourth and final album, I Still Believe. On June 22, 2010, “Statistics,” was released as a single where it reached 19 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop songs list on September 4, 2010.

The song was inspired by Steve Harvey’s book, " Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man:What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment," and belts out statistics such as,

"25% of all men are unstable, 25% of all men can't be faithful 30% of them don't mean what they say And 10% of the remaining 20 is gay That leaves you a 10% chance of ever finding your man"

This is sung to a “lullaby-like piano melody”. The song also offers advice on keeping that good one, once he is found.

"Tell him that you're celibate And if he wants some of your goodies he gon' have to work for it"

Statistics is the study of the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data. In applying statistics to, e.g., a scientific, industrial, or social problem, it is conventional to begin with a statistical population or a statistical model process to be studied. Populations can be diverse topics such as "all people living in a country" or "every atom composing a crystal". Statistics deals with all aspects of data including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments.

Some popular definitions are:

  • Merriam-Webster dictionary defines statistics as "classified facts representing the conditions of a people in a state – especially the facts that can be stated in numbers or any other tabular or classified arrangement".
  • Statistician Sir Arthur Lyon Bowley defines statistics as "Numerical statements of facts in any department of inquiry placed in relation to each other".

When census data cannot be collected, statisticians collect data by developing specific experiment designs and survey samples. Representative sampling assures that inferences and conclusions can safely extend from the sample to the population as a whole. An experimental study involves taking measurements of the system under study, manipulating the system, and then taking additional measurements using the same procedure to determine if the manipulation has modified the values of the measurements. In contrast, an observational study does not involve experimental manipulation.

Two main statistical methodologies are used in data analysis: descriptive statistics, which summarizes data from a sample using indexes such as the mean or standard deviation, and inferential statistics, which draws conclusions from data that are subject to random variation (e.g., observational errors, sampling variation). Descriptive statistics are most often concerned with two sets of properties of a distribution (sample or population): central tendency (or location) seeks to characterize the distribution's central or typical value, while dispersion (or variability) characterizes the extent to which members of the distribution depart from its center and each other. Inferences on mathematical statistics are made under the framework of probability theory, which deals with the analysis of random phenomena.

A standard statistical procedure involves the test of the relationship between two statistical data sets, or a data set and a synthetic data drawn from idealized model. An hypothesis is proposed for the statistical relationship between the two data sets, and this is compared as an alternative to an idealized null hypothesis of no relationship between two data sets. Rejecting or disproving the null hypothesis is done using statistical tests that quantify the sense in which the null can be proven false, given the data that are used in the test. Working from a null hypothesis, two basic forms of error are recognized: Type I errors (null hypothesis is falsely rejected giving a "false positive") and Type II errors (null hypothesis fails to be rejected and an actual difference between populations is missed giving a "false negative"). Multiple problems have come to be associated with this framework: ranging from obtaining a sufficient sample size to specifying an adequate null hypothesis.

Measurement processes that generate statistical data are also subject to error. Many of these errors are classified as random (noise) or systematic ( bias), but other types of errors (e.g., blunder, such as when an analyst reports incorrect units) can also be important. The presence of missing data and/or censoring may result in biased estimates and specific techniques have been developed to address these problems.

Statistics can be said to have begun in ancient civilization, going back at least to the 5th century BC, but it was not until the 18th century that it started to draw more heavily from calculus and probability theory. Statistics continues to be an area of active research, for example on the problem of how to analyze Big data.

Statistics (disambiguation)

Statistics is a mathematical science pertaining to the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data.

Statistic may also refer to:

  • Statistic, the result of applying a statistical algorithm to a set of data
  • Statistic (role-playing games), a piece of data which represents a particular aspect of a fictional character
  • Statistics (band), an American rock band
  • Statism, a political system

Usage examples of "statistics".

To ensure they never lost that lead, Alderson routinely reviewed the batting statistics of the teams, and leaned on managers whose teams were not walking.

Ronny Bronston had spent the better part of his life thus far in studying for a place in the organization, and then working in the Population Statistics Department for some years, he was only now beginning to get the overall picture of the workings of the mushrooming, chaotic United Planets organization.

This after all was a probationary assignment, and the supervisor had the power to send Ronny Bronston back to the drudgery of his office job at Population Statistics.

How willingly would I have exchanged a full-scale attempt at invasion for this shapeless, measureless peril, expressed in charts, curves, and statistics!

Ascertain from statistics the small proportion of the region which has yet been brought into cultivation, and also the large and rapidly increasing amount of products, and we shall be overwhelmed with the magnitude of the prospect presented.

Steve Stanley was yet another example of the strange results you obtained when you ceased to prejudge a player by his appearance, and his less meaningful statistics, and simply looked at what he had accomplished according to his meaningful stats.

The prelimited amount of means will save us from doing too much, and the statistics will save us from doing what we do in wrong places.

Then Edmond had instituted the refund policy for women under forty, and the clinic statistics had risen, and the numbers of patients had increased dramatically.

Compare, if you will, the statistics of World War Two against heavily defended targets such as Berlin, Schweinfurt, and Ploesti where losses ranged from ten percent to thirty percent on a single mission.

This evening the client, a matrix working in the field of biological synergism, had obsessed on an elaborate array of biosyn statistics.

This is a familiar tactic in the war against America: Critics generate hysteria based on false statistics and pseudoscience, and then use their claims to victimhood to exact real money based on false numbers, and this real extortion hurts real people.

This had led to many humiliating experiences, like the time I absentmindedly covered a statistics assignment with Muppet Babies stickers, or the day one of my famous professors uttered the key word baby during a lecture and my milk let down, soaking the front of my shirt.

In each state we have an allergist who acts as a reporter, gathers statistics, and sends them on.

According to the official statistics of the French War Department, there were in 1914 in the French Army 20 generals, 145 superior officers, and 400 ordinary officers of Alsatian origin.

The same doctors who listen to Continuing Medical Education audiocassettes on their car stereos, intent on keeping up with every innovation that might improve their outcome statistics, may regard cross-cultural medicine as a form of political bamboozlement, an assault on their rationality rather than a potentially lifesaving therapy.