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discriminant

[dih-skrim-uh-nuh nt]
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noun Mathematics.
  1. a relatively simple expression that determines some of the properties, as the nature of the roots, of a given equation or function.
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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 formsdis·crim·i·nan·tal [dis-krim-uh-nan-tl] /dɪsˌkrɪm əˈnæn tl/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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

discriminant

noun
  1. an algebraic expression related to the coefficients of a polynomial equation whose value gives information about the roots of the polynomialb² – 4ac is the discriminant of ax² + bx + c = 0
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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