This is an overview of the idea of a limit in mathematics. For specific uses of a limit, see limit of a sequence and limit of a function.
In mathematics, a limit is the value that a function or sequence "approaches" as the input or index approaches some value.[1] Limits are essential to calculus (and mathematical analysis in general) and are used to define continuity, derivatives, and integrals.
The concept of a limit of a sequence is further generalized to the concept of a limit of a topological net, and is closely related to limit and direct limit in category theory.
In formulas, limit is usually abbreviated as lim as in lim(an) = a, and the fact of approaching a limit is represented by the right arrow (→) as in an → a.