arithmetic (n.) mid-13c., arsmetike, from O.Fr. arsmetique (12c.), from L. arithmetica, from Gk. arithmetike (tekhne) " (the) counting (art)," fem. of arithmetikos "of or for reckoning, arithmetical," from arithmos "number, counting, amount," from PIE root *re(i)- "to reason, count" (Cf. O.E., O.H.G. rim "number;" O.Ir. rim "number," dorimu "I count;" L. ritus "religious custom;" see READ (Cf. read)).
Originally in English also arsmetrik, on folk etymology from M.L. ars metrica; spelling corrected early 16c. Replaced native tælcræft, lit. "tell-craft."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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