Is there a word that describes when a number increases in number of digits?


  • 9 to 10 (one, then two digits)
  • 99 to 100 (two, then three digits)
  • 999 to 1000 (three, then four digits)

Use Case:

I would like to succinctly and/or mathematically describe what's happening in a problem I have here: Sequential IDs with field calculator: Pad a prefixed field to specific length

  • 7
    Its order of magnitude increases. – Dan Bron Aug 23 '17 at 13:19
  • 2
    @DanBron - Not sure you're right; at the very least using that term here is confusing. 0.999m is three orders of magnitude bigger than 1mm, not two. – AndyT Aug 23 '17 at 13:42
  • 3
    You linked to something very long. Could you just post a sample sentence, please? // What about carrying? When you add 3 + 4, there is no need to carry. When you add 9 + 1, you write 0 and carry the 1. // Possibly roll over -- as happens with an odometer. – aparente001 Aug 24 '17 at 1:09
  • 1
    The characteristic of the number’s (base 10) logarithm has been incremented. – Jim Aug 25 '17 at 22:55
  • 2
    I misunderstood. We’re talking only about numbers of digits, not numeric value. I don’t remember a term for that and neither British nor US on-line kiddy-school primers said anything but, eg, X-digit numbers. Your term would revolve around place order or length and if as in that GIS link it’s for a databases text field, perhaps word length or len. As Jim notes that’s about content, not process. Python, VBScript, etc won’t be too flexible but in English, why not make up a term? If a real phrase turns up, you can always switch. – Robbie Goodwin Sep 8 '17 at 17:42

It is a number system dependent feature - for example Roman numerals do this all the time. If you are using a positional number system, you could say the number of digits jumps.


Number Length (Wolfram)

The length of a number n in base b is the number of digits in the base-b numeral for n

  • 2
    Number length may describe what’s being measured. It does not describe the event of it increasing by one. – Jim Aug 25 '17 at 18:24
  • @Jim: Correct, but once you understand the meaning of "number length", it's trivial to then use it in a sentence, e.g. "the number length increases by 1". However, I do agree that an example sentence would improve the quality of the answer. – Flater Sep 25 '17 at 9:13
  • As a total innumerate, I have to say that sounds baffling. I thought there were many bases, so we're talking about something like Pi that go out indefinitely? – Lambie Apr 23 '18 at 21:41

protected by tchrist Aug 23 '17 at 15:07

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