About

An ideal $I$ in a ring $(R,+,\cdot)$ a subset $I\subseteq R$ such that $(I,+)$ is a subgroup of the additive group $(R,+)$ and $r\cdot x,x\cdot r\in I$ whenever $r\in R$ and $x\in I$ (i.e., $I$ is closed under multiplication by arbitrary elements).

This is the most frequent use of the name ideal, but it is used in other areas of mathematics too:

history | show excerpt | excerpt history