method of exhaustion
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method of exhaustion[‚meth·əd əv ig′zȯs·chən]
A method of finding areas and volumes by finding an increasing or decreasing sequence of sets whose areas or volumes are known and less than or greater than the desired area or volume, and then showing that the area or volume between the boundaries of the approximating sets and the boundary of the set to be measured approaches zero (is exhausted).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.