chapter  58
The normal distribution
Pages 8

When data is obtained, it can frequently be considered to be a sample (i.e. a few members) drawn at random from a large population (i.e. a set having many members). If the sample number is large, it is theoretically possible to choose class intervals which are very small, but which still have a number of members falling within each class. A frequency polygon of this data then has a large number of small line segments and approximates to a continuous curve. Such a curve is called a frequency or a distribution curve.