Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[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.
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.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for discriminantal


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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for discriminantal


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
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for discriminant

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for discriminantal

Scrabble Words With Friends