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[dih-skrim-uh-nuh nt] /dɪˈskrɪm ə nənt/
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 of discriminant
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
Related forms
[dis-krim-uh-nan-tl] /dɪsˌkrɪm əˈnæn tl/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for discriminant
Historical Examples
  • The determines the nature or character of the roots; hence it is called the discriminant.

    A Review of Algebra Romeyn Henry Rivenburg
British Dictionary definitions for discriminant


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
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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