Polynomial Equations

What is the degree of a polynomial equation?

The highest order power (or exponent) used in a univariate polynomial is called its polynomial degree or order; it is also defined as the largest (or maximum) sum of exponents that appear on the variables in the equation’s terms. Commonly, the word “degree” is used more frequently because “order” has another meaning when discussing polynomials.

You can also talk about degrees in reference to monomials, binomials, and trinomials. The degree of a monomial is the sum of the degrees of the variable in the equation; the degrees of the other polynomial equations are the greatest of the degrees in terms after the equation has been simplified. For example, a third degree trinomial equation is x3 - 3x - 2 = 0.


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