What Does the Term “nth Degree” Mean and Where Did the Mathematical Symbol Come From?

To take something to the “nth degree” means we have exhausted all possibilities.

The letter n is the mathematical symbol meaning “any number.”

If you say “nth plus 1” you mean “to the utmost.”

The expression derives from the mathematical formula n plus 1 meaning “one more than any number,” which of course is beyond the outer limits.

The “nth degree” originated as university slang in the nineteenth century.