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

discriminantal [dis-krim-uh-nan-tl] , adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To discriminant
Collins
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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

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.

Learn more about discriminant with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature