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System Class NUMBER

Class Precedence List:

number, t


The type number contains objects which represent mathematical numbers. The types real and complex are disjoint subtypes of number.

The function = tests for numerical equality. The function eql, when its arguments are both numbers, tests that they have both the same type and numerical value. Two numbers that are the same under eql or = are not necessarily the same under eq.


Common Lisp differs from mathematics on some naming issues. In mathematics, the set of real numbers is traditionally described as a subset of the complex numbers, but in Common Lisp, the type real and the type complex are disjoint. The Common Lisp type which includes all mathematical complex numbers is called number. The reasons for these differences include historical precedent, compatibility with most other popular computer languages, and various issues of time and space efficiency.

The following X3J13 cleanup issue, not part of the specification, applies to this section:

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