Why is slope represented by the letter m?Any help is appreciated.

Expert Answers
dwbettine eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe rozo711 has come closest to an accurate answer. I just have one or two pieces to add and the link below will help. I believe slope is represented by an 'm' due to the Latin word 'modus' which means measure. See the link below for more details.

atyourservice | Student

 It is said it is because the m stood for modulus.

Wiggin42 | Student
It seems that there is no set answer but there are some guesses and urban legends:

In our system, the first letters of 
the alphabet, a, b , c... represent the constants, the last 
letters, x, y, z represent the unknown variables and the middle 
letters, m, n, p... represents the parameters. When we started the 
explanations of slope, it was in studying the first degree 
equation: y = mx + b. x and y were the variables, b was fixed and 
considered as a constant, and what was appended to the 
coefficient of x as its value varied. So it was a parameter and 
that is why we used m.



princessita-2-day | Student

because m was once called modulus.

aeshapatel123 | Student

The slope is rise over run