Get down with the lingo
Algebraic ExpressionsAn expression that contains one or more terms and operations to combine them. Each term contains variable(s), constant(s), or a product of variables and constants.
BinomialA polynomial with only two terms. The expression x – 3 is a binomial, and so is 96x2y + 13,0278,543.
CoefficientThe number being multiplied by a variable. Coefficients give regular old variables a little boost! For example, the coefficient in 3x is 3.
ConstantA value that doesn't change. In a polynomial, the constant is the number that's not being multiplied by a variable, like the 4 in x2 + 11x + 4.
Degree Of A PolynomialThe largest combined exponent value of any one term in that polynomial. For example, the degree of the polynomial 7x9 – 2x5y6 is 11. It also has a Ph.D. in Italian literature. Go figure.
Descending OrderGreatest to least. In a polynomial, we usually write the terms starting with the highest exponent first, and the lowest (or the constant) last.
Difference Of Two SquaresAn expression that takes the form a2 – b2 that we can factor into the form (a + b)(a – b).
EquationsMathematical "sentences" that state the equality of two algebraic expressions.
Equivalent EquationsTwo different pairs of equations that have the same solution(s).
FactoringBreaking a polynomial into two or more expressions that can be multiplied together to get the original polynomial. Basically, it's like reverse-distributing.
Like TermsTwo terms that have the same variables raised to the same exponent. Like terms may have different coefficients.
MonomialA polynomial that's just a single term, like 5x or -16xy2z. Aww, it's so widdle and cute.
Multivariable PolynomialsPolynomials with more than one variable. These guys like to mix it up.
PolynomialAn expression containing constants and variables that can be combined using addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Exponents on all variables must be positive whole numbers.
Prime PolynomialLke a prime number or Optimus Prime, prime polynomials can't be broken down any further by factoring. A prime polynomial's only factors are 1 and itself.
Quadratic PolynomialsA polynomial of degree 2.
SolutionThe value(s) of variable(s) that satisfy an equation or inequality.
TrinomialA polynomial with three terms. Third time's a charm.
VariableA value that changes. Variables are commonly represented by the letters x, y, or z.
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