# discriminant

## discriminant

[dih-skrim-uh-nuhnt]
noun Mathematics.
a relatively simple expression that determines some of the properties, as the nature of the roots, of a given equation or function.

Origin:
1830–40; < Latin discrīminant- (stem of discrīmināns) separating, present participle of discrīmināre to divide up, separate, verbal derivative of discrīmen, stem discrīmin- separating line, distinction, equivalent to discrī-, variant stem of discernere (see discern) + -men noun suffix; see -ant

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World English Dictionary
 discriminant (dɪˈskrɪmɪnənt) —n an algebraic expression related to the coefficients of a polynomial equation whose value gives information about the roots of the polynomial: b² -- 4ac is the discriminant of ax² + bx + c = 0

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discriminant

in mathematics, a parameter of an object or system calculated as an aid to its classification or solution. In the case of a quadratic equation ax2+bx+c=0, the discriminant is b24ac; for a cubic equation x3+ax2+bx+c=0, the discriminant is a2b2+18abc4b34a3c27c2. The roots of a quadratic or cubic equation with real coefficients are real and distinct if the discriminant is positive, are real with at least two equal if the discriminant is zero, and include a conjugate pair of complex roots if the discriminant is negative. A discriminant can be found for the general quadratic, or conic, equation ax2+bxy+cy2+dx+ey+f=0; it indicates whether the conic represented is an ellipse, a hyperbola, or a parabola.