Mathematics. a number or quantity placed (generally) before and multiplying another quantity, as 3 in the expression 3x.
Physics. a number that is constant for a given substance, body, or process under certain specified conditions, serving as a measure of one of its properties: coefficient of friction.
acting in consort; cooperating.

1655–65; < Neo-Latin coefficient- (stem of coefficiēns). See co-, efficient

coefficiently, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
coefficient (ˌkəʊɪˈfɪʃənt)
1.  maths
 a.  a numerical or constant factor in an algebraic term: the coefficient of the term 3xyz is 3
 b.  the product of all the factors of a term excluding one or more specified variables: the coefficient of x in 3axyz is 3ayz
2.  physics a value that relates one physical quantity to another
[C17: from New Latin coefficiēns, from Latin co- together + efficere to effect]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1660s, from co- + efficient, probably influenced by Mod.L. coefficiens, used in mathematics 16c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

coefficient co·ef·fi·cient (kō'ə-fĭsh'ənt)
The mathematical expression of the amount or degree of any quality possessed by a substance, or of the degree of physical or chemical change normally occurring in that substance under stated conditions.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
coefficient   (kō'ə-fĭsh'ənt)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A number or symbol multiplied with a variable or an unknown quantity in an algebraic term. For example, 4 is the coefficient in the term 4x, and x is the coefficient in x(a + b).

  2. A numerical measure of a physical or chemical property that is constant for a system under specified conditions. The speed of light in a vacuum, for example, is a constant.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It would be interesting to see the coefficient of correlation over the last
  chunk of time.
No medium has a higher coefficient of trustworthiness than any other.
The inbreeding coefficient is a measure of relatedness between two individuals.
And this website explains how to measure drag coefficient without a wind tunnel.
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