- the characteristic polynomial of a given matrix, equated to zero.
- Also called auxiliary equation.an equation with one variable and equated to zero, which is derived from a given linear differential equation and in which the coefficient and power of the variable in each term correspond to the coefficient and order of a derivative in the original equation.
- Physics. equation of state.
Origin of characteristic equation
First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018