I just read an article (http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_06_08.html) saying that multiplication is not repeated addition. I am a first year engineering student, and i am very interested in mathematics. The picture i have had of multiplication for ~12 years or something is definitely of repeated addition. Wikipedia also seems to give this definition. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiplication I read that there are 4 elementary operations for arithmetic. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. I notice that subtraction is the inverse of addition, and division the inverse of multiplication. So, if multiplication was indeed repeated addition, there would only be two elementary operations. Addition, and subtraction. And since subtraction is inverse addition, that would mean that division is repeated subtraction, and it certainly isn't. As a side note: I actually remember seeing it like this when i was very young and first learning about arithmetic. And, because i saw multiplication as repeated addition, it seemed to me that division was really not like the others. Although i just accepted this and havn't thought about it since. tl;dr If multiplication isn't repeated addition, what is it? Do you think i am missing something based on my above explanation?