• synonyms


[koh-uh-fish-uh nt]
See more synonyms for coefficient on Thesaurus.com
  1. Mathematics. a number or quantity placed (generally) before and multiplying another quantity, as 3 in the expression 3x.
  2. 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.
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  1. acting in consort; cooperating.
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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. 2018

Related Words for coefficient

harmonious, collegial, symbiotic, interdependent, united, concerted, reciprocal, collateral, coeval, belonging, joint, fellow, complementary, incident, contemporary, satellite, attending, corollary, coordinate, attendant

Examples from the Web for coefficient

Historical Examples of coefficient

  • You're referring to the necessity for a coefficient of discharge.

    Houlihan's Equation

    Walt Sheldon

  • "Clear it ov its coefficient, and we'll thry," says the Pope.

  • The coefficient of rolling friction of a railroad train on a track is 0.009.


    Willis Eugene Tower

  • The rate of expansion per degree is called the Coefficient of Expansion.


    Willis Eugene Tower

  • This might be termed the Recognition, the other the Perception, coefficient.

British Dictionary definitions for coefficient


  1. 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
  2. physics a value that relates one physical quantity to another
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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


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

coefficient in Medicine


  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

coefficient in Science


  1. 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).
  2. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.