The function f(a,x) returns the value in the array a specified by x, where x is a percentage of the length of the array, divided by 100.

(i.e. x can be any number between 0 and 1, corresponding to a percentage between 0% and 100%)

Examples: if a = [1,2,3,4,5], then f(a, 0.5) = 3; f(a, 0) = 1; f(a, 1) = 5;

Is there a better way to express that some variable is a 'percentage divided by 100'?

Preferably I am looking for a single word.

Alternatively a phrase, and a single word that can be used later on to reference that phrase.

My first idea was 'fraction', but I am not sure whether that conveys the concept.

Update based on long's answer:

I am looking for a term for the first item in this list:

  • ?, [0-1]
  • ?, [0-10]
  • percent, %, [0-100]
  • per mille 0/00 [0-1000]
  • basis point, permyriad 0/000, [0-10000]
  • Percentages are literally the values between zero and one already. It's just when we use it with the percent sign, we scale it by 100. – Damkerng T. Dec 3 '13 at 9:22
  • so i could just call it 'percentage' and a reader would understand that to be a value between 0 and 1? – HugoRune Dec 3 '13 at 9:25
  • 2
    No, you would need to call it a fraction of the length. Percentages go from 0 to 100. Or, rewrite the function to use a percentage; or maybe even both (x < 1, it's a fraction; 1 < x < 100, it's a percentage) – Andrew Leach Dec 3 '13 at 9:25
  • 2
    Using percentage can be confusing easily. Fraction is good, e.g. "widget moveto fraction: Fraction is a real number between 0 and 1. The widget should adjust its view so that the point given by fraction appears at the beginning of the widget." – Damkerng T. Dec 3 '13 at 9:31
  • @ HugoRune: Can you give a numerical example of what f(a,x) is returning. I ask because by definition n % = n/100 & you have stated "x is a percentage....,divided by 100" which means x%/100 = x / 10000. – Avishek Dutta Dec 3 '13 at 11:06

In similar circumstances, the term I usually see is 'proportion', or sometimes 'ratio'. You need to clarify your sentence though, how is the reader to know that if the array a has five elements and x = 0.5, then f(a,x) returns the third element of a and not the second?


Normalized to range [0,1].

This is the usual approach, and you rarely find values normalized to other ranges.


A percent divided by one hundred is a basis point, or 1 per ten thousand. Like similar units (percent 0/0, per mille 0/00 etc), it can be expressed as 0/000.

So, you could possibly say "where x is a basis point value."

The basis point is also less commonly called permyriad.

EDIT: If you want to represent a percentage value as a fraction value between 0 and 1, you may perhaps want decimal fraction. The number 61/100 (61%) can be written as the decimal fraction 0.61.

  • Slight misunderstanding: I am looking for a word to describe a value between 0 and 1; a unit that is a 100 times larger than a percent. This basis point is a unit that is a 100 times smaller than a percent, a value between 0 and 10000. Nevertheless very interesting, I did not know these terms before. – HugoRune Dec 3 '13 at 10:56
  • So do you perhaps want decimal fraction? The number 61/100 (61%) can be written as the decimal fraction 0.61. Edit added to answer above. – long Dec 3 '13 at 11:10
  • That could be it, yes – HugoRune Dec 3 '13 at 11:15
  • @HugoRune When you say that a value between 0 and 1 is 100 times larger than a percent, what exactly do you mean by that? – kojow7 Feb 6 at 4:11

You can say: ..., where x is a positive proper fraction of the array length.


I am facing the same naming problem when creating variables/fields for rates in order to disambiguate a number which might be scaled in different ways.

Basis Point and Percentage are clear and unequivocal, but I can't find a good name for the representation where for example 0.1 actually means 10%.

Best I have been able to come up with is "Mathematical", "Formal Decimal" or "Quant Decimal".

  • Hi @John, the site prefers that answers be supported. Can you please edit your answer to explain why your three suggestions are good answers to the question? – Lawrence Aug 2 '17 at 16:03
  • Hi @Lawrence. As I said in my entry, I have not been able to find a good answer. I don't think my suggestions are very good. The thinking behind "Quant Decimal" is that when interest rates are being manipulated in Quant libraries (in financial firms) a "10%" rate is expressed as "0.1". Normalized/Normalised (as suggested above) would be great if it wasn't for the fact that interest rates can be outside the [0,1] range. – John Denniston Aug 3 '17 at 11:39
  • Thanks, that helps. It would be useful to link to such a definition from your answer. Welcome to EL&U, by the way. Have a look at this post about what the site is trying to achieve by requiring answers to be supported. – Lawrence Aug 3 '17 at 11:47

protected by Lawrence Aug 2 '17 at 16:01

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