Is there a word for an entity or number that won't modify something?

Or in mathematical terms 1 won't modify another number if you multiply by it (2 * 1 = 2).

I would imagine you could also generalize this term outside of math but I can't think of an example.

  • 2
    I believe that an INERT material won't react chemically with any substance, and the NOBLE GASSES are examples. But that's not my department. – Chaim Apr 20 '17 at 16:06
  • I think we need a more concrete scenario. There are many words like inconsequential, ineffective, useless, – Jim Apr 20 '17 at 17:18
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on Maths SE under 'terminology'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 20 '17 at 23:44
  • neutral, identity – Akshay Khale Apr 21 '17 at 5:43

An identity defined by Oxford Online as:

Mathematics A transformation that leaves an object unchanged.


An element of a set which, if combined with another element by a specified binary operation, leaves that element unchanged.


Mathematics The equality of two expressions for all values of the quantities expressed by letters, or an equation expressing this, e.g. (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1.

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