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Illustration of a Cartesian coordinate plane. The second value in each ordered pair is the ordinate of the corresponding point.

In mathematics, ordinate mostly refers to that element of an ordered pair which is plotted on the vertical axis of a two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system, as opposed to the abscissa. The term can also refer to the vertical axis (typically y-axis) of a two-dimensional graph (because that axis is used to define and measure the vertical coordinates of points in the space). An ordered pair consists of two terms—the abscissa (horizontally, usually x) and the ordinate (vertical, usually y)—which define the location of a point in two-dimensional rectangular space.[1]


  • For the red point in the above graph (−3, 1), −3 is called the abscissa and 1, the ordinate.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weisstein, Eric W. "Ordinate". MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource. Retrieved 14 July 2013.  External link in |work= (help)

External links[edit]

This article is based on material taken from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing prior to 1 November 2008 and incorporated under the "relicensing" terms of the GFDL, version 1.3 or later.