I'm confused about why this mathematical operation has two different names.

"A radical is a root of a number. A square root is a radical. Roots can be square roots, cube roots, fourth roots and so on."

http://www.wyzant.com/help/math/algebra/square_roots_and_radicals

Hope this is of some help! :)

-Jay

## Comments

A radical is actually the square root symbol. A leading superscript number can indicate a higher order root, such as a cube root, fourth root, etc.

^{3}√ indicates a cube root. The dictionary doesn't show a source root word for this definition of the word radical, so I don't know where it comes from or why it's called that. Most English words are derived from Latin, Greek or ancient Middle European languages.I guess I should have also pointed out that while the radical is the symbol, the math operation is taking a root. The operation doesn't have two names. You can think of "subtraction" and "minus sign" as a parallel.