# least squares

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## least squares

*pl.n.*

*Statistics*

A method of determining the curve that best describes the relationship between expected and observed sets of data by minimizing the sums of the squares of deviation between observed and expected values.

## least squares

*n*

(Mathematics) a method for determining the best value of an unknown quantity relating one or more sets of observations or measurements, esp to find a curve that best fits a set of data. It states that the sum of the squares of the deviations of the experimentally determined value from its optimum value should be a minimum

## least′ squares′

*n.*

a statistical method of estimating values from a set of observations by minimizing the sum of the squares of the differences between the observations and the values to be found.

Also called **least′-squares′ meth`od.**

[1860–65]

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Noun | 1. | least squares - a method of fitting a curve to data points so as to minimize the sum of the squares of the distances of the points from the curvestatistics - a branch of applied mathematics concerned with the collection and interpretation of quantitative data and the use of probability theory to estimate population parameters statistical method, statistical procedure - a method of analyzing or representing statistical data; a procedure for calculating a statistic |

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