Coefficient

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Coefficient'

Coefficient Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    coefficient n : a constant number that serves as a measure of some property or characteristic
Coefficient Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Coefficient \Co`ef*fi"cient\, a. Co["o]perating; acting together to produce an effect. Co`ef*fi"cient*ly, adv.
Coefficient Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Coefficient \Co`ef*fi"cient\, n.
  1. That which unites in action with something else to produce the same effect.
  2. [Cf. F. coefficient.] (Math.) A number or letter put before a letter or quantity, known or unknown, to show how many times the latter is to be taken; as, 6x; bx; here 6 and b are coefficients of x.
  3. (Physics) A number, commonly used in computation as a factor, expressing the amount of some change or effect under certain fixed conditions as to temperature, length, volume, etc.; as, the coefficient of expansion; the coefficient of friction. Arbitrary coefficient (Math.), a literal coefficient placed arbitrarily in an algebraic expression, the value of the coefficient being afterwards determined by the conditions of the problem.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Coefficient'


In mathematics, a coefficient is a multiplicative factor in some term of an expression (or of a series); it is usually a number, but in any case does not involve any variables of the expression. For instance in

the first three terms respectively have the coefficients 7, −3, and 1.5 (in the third term there are no variables, so the coefficient is the term itself; it is called the constant term or constant coefficient of this expression). The final term does not have any explicitly written coefficient, but is usually considered to have coefficient 1, since multiplying by that factor would not change the term. Often coefficients are numbers as in this example, although they could be parameters of the problem, as a, b, and c in

when it is understood that these are not considered as variables.

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