Bell Curve


DEFINITION of 'Bell Curve'

The most common type of distribution for a variable. The term "bell curve" comes from the fact that the graph used to depict a normal distribution consists of a bell-shaped line.

The bell curve is also known as a normal distribution. The bell curve is less commonly referred to as a Gaussian distribution, after German mathematician and physicist Karl Gauss, who popularized the model in the scientific community by using it to analyze astronomical data.


The highest point in the curve, or the top of the bell, represents the most probable event. All possible occurrences are equally distributed around the most probable event, which creates a downward-sloping line on each side of the peak.

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