# Base (mathematics)

## in a positional numeral system, the number of unique digits, including the digit 0, used to represent numbers / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In mathematics, a **base** or **radix** is the number of different digits **or** combination of digits and letters that a system of counting uses to represent numbers. For example, the most common base used today is the decimal system. Because "dec" means 10, it uses the 10 digits from 0 to 9. Most people think that we most often use base 10 because we have 10 fingers.

A base is usually a whole number bigger than 1, although non-integer bases are also mathematically possible. The base of a number may be written next to the number: for instance, $23_{8}$ means 23 in base 8 (which is equal to 19 in base 10).