coefficient

[koh-uh-fish-uh nt]

noun

Mathematics. a number or quantity placed (generally) before and multiplying another quantity, as 3 in the expression 3x.
Physics. a number that is constant for a given substance, body, or process under certain specified conditions, serving as a measure of one of its properties: coefficient of friction.

adjective

acting in consort; cooperating.

Nearby words

  1. coed,
  2. coedit,
  3. coeditor,
  4. coeducation,
  5. coeducational,
  6. coefficient of correlation,
  7. coefficient of elasticity,
  8. coefficient of expansion,
  9. coefficient of friction,
  10. coefficient of performance

Origin of coefficient

First recorded in 1655–65, coefficient is from the New Latin word coefficient- (stem of coefficiēns). See co-, efficient

Related formsco·ef·fi·cient·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coefficient


British Dictionary definitions for coefficient

coefficient

noun

maths
  1. a numerical or constant factor in an algebraic termthe coefficient of the term 3xyz is 3
  2. the product of all the factors of a term excluding one or more specified variablesthe coefficient of x in 3axyz is 3ayz
physics a value that relates one physical quantity to another

Word Origin for coefficient

C17: from New Latin coefficiēns, from Latin co- together + efficere to effect

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

Word Origin and History for coefficient

coefficient

n.

also co-efficient, c.1600, from co- + efficient. Probably influenced by Modern Latin coefficiens, which was used in mathematics in 16c., introduced by French mathematician François Viète (1540-1603). As an adjective from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for coefficient

coefficient

[kō′ə-fĭshənt]

n.

The mathematical expression of the amount or degree of any quality possessed by a substance, or of the degree of physical or chemical change normally occurring in that substance under stated conditions.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for coefficient

coefficient

[kō′ə-fĭshənt]

A number or symbol multiplied with a variable or an unknown quantity in an algebraic term. For example, 4 is the coefficient in the term 4x, and x is the coefficient in x(a + b).
A numerical measure of a physical or chemical property that is constant for a system under specified conditions. The speed of light in a vacuum, for example, is a constant.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.