# Symbols:Numerical Analysis/Tolerance

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## Tolerance

- $\pm$

Defines a range in which a number may lie.

$x = a \pm b$ means $a - b \le x \le a + b$.

In the context of engineering, it is known as a **tolerance**, arising from the idea that any number within $\pm b$ of $a$ is a within a **tolerable** range of the **desired** value.

The $\LaTeX$ code for \(\pm\) is `\pm`

.

The despicable political term **zero tolerance** was supposedly coined as a reflection of the above engineering definition.

It of course takes someone with an actual mathematical or engineering background to understand how poisonously unachievable such an aspiration is.

## Also see

See:

for other uses of this symbol.

## Sources

- 2008: David Nelson:
*The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics*(4th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry:**plus/minus sign**:**2.**